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"  BY 

w    J    WATSON 

M.A.,  ABERD.  ;  B.A.,  OXON. 








THE  uncertainty  and  lack  of  precision  which  have 
characterised  so  much  of  the  work  attempted  in 
connection  with  the  study  of  our  Scottish  names 
of  places  are  due  chiefly  to  defective  or  imperfectly 
ascertained  data.  In  Lowland  districts,  where  the 
sole  data  for  names  of  Celtic  origin  consist  of 
modern  Anglicised  forms  and  old  spellings,  this 
uncertainty  is  largely  inevitable :  the  old  Celtic 
pronunciation,  the  quantity  of  vowels,  and  the 
quality  of  consonants  must  often  be  matter  of 
sheer  conjecture.  But  wherever  Gaelic  is  still 
vernacular,  or  when,  as  often,  genuine  Gaelic  forms 
of  names  occurring  in  districts  once  Celtic  but  now 
English  are  procurable,  these  difficulties  are  im- 
mensely simplified.  It  will  be  found  that  modern 
Gaelic  pronunciation  as  handed  down  by  unbroken 
tradition  is  in  the  main  intensely  conservative, 
whether  the  names  so  transmitted  are  Pictish, 
Scandinavian,  or  purely  Gaelic  in  origin.  With  the 
aid  of  these  modern  Gaelic  forms,  either  alone  or 
supplemented  by  old  written  forms,  the  investi- 
gator, given  knowledge  and  experience,  should  in 


most  cases  be  able  to  arrive  at  a  high  degree  of 
accuracy  in  interpretation.  The  work  is  raised  from 
the  sphere  of  conjecture  to  that  of  solid  scientific 

In  the  present  work,  dealing  with  the  Place 
Names  of  Ross  and  Cromarty,  the  method  thus 
indicated  has  been  followed  throughout.  In  every 
case  the  genuine  native  Gaelic  forms  of  names  have 
been  ascertained  with  absolute  accuracy.  In 
addition,  the  old  spellings  found  in  charters,  etc., 
have  been  given  wherever  such  were  available. 
The  result  is  that  the  interpretations  offered  can  be 
criticised  by  Celtic  scholars  in  the  light  of  a  full 
knowledge  of  the  data.  Incidentally  a  large  number 
of  new  and  important  facts  are  offered  for  the  con- 
sideration of  philologists,  both  in  the  shape  of 
obsolete  Gaelic  words  rescued  from  oblivion,  and  in 
the  treatment  in  Gaelic  of  Norse  and  Pictish  names. 

An  attempt  has  been  made  in  the  Introduction 
to  focus  the  general  results  obtained.  The  opening 
historical  sections,  though  necessarily  much  com- 
pressed, will,  it  is  hoped,  serve  to  lend  perspective. 
The  sections  which  deal  with  the  formation  of 
Gaelic  names  and  with  the  Pictish  and  Norse 
elements,  should  afford  some  not  unnecessary  assist- 
ance to  future  investigators.  The  account  given  of 
the  treatment  in  Gaelic  of  the  Old  Norse  vowels 

-       PREFA.CE.  Vll, 

and  consonants  is  a  pioneer  piece  of  work  which 
will,  I  hope,  be  found  generally  trustworthy,  but 
may  at  least  be  amplified  by  further  research.  The 
collection  of  facts  adduced  with  regard  to  traces  of 
the  old  Celtic  Church  proves  the  strength  of  the 
hold  which  that  Church  took  in  the  North,  and 
indicates  the  wealth  of  material  that  awaits  col- 
lection. As  for  the  Pictish  language,  its  remains  in 
place  names  are  only  beginning  to  be  scientifically 
considered.  Everything  so  far  goes  to  prove  its 
close  affinity  to  Cymric,  but  we  still  desiderate  a 
thorough  critical  examination  of  the  place  names  of 
Dalriada  on  the  one  hand  and  of  the  Central  High- 
lands on  the  other,  respectively  the  most  Gaelic  and 
the  most  Pictish  of  Scottish  districts  where  Gaelic 
is  still  spoken. 

In   collecting    materials    for  this    work   I    have 


personally  traversed  all  parts  of  the  County  except 
Lewis,  and  therefore  the  number  of  those  to  whom 
I  am  indebted  runs  to  hundreds.  But  I  am  under- 
special  obligation  to  Mr  Kenneth  Mackenzie,  Shade v, 
Barvas,  both  for  general  information  on  Lewis 
names  and  in  particular  for  permission  to  make  use 
of  a  valuable  paper  on  that  subject  contributed  by 
him  to  the  Highland  News.  To  that  distinguished 
Celtic  authority,  Dr  A.  Macbain  of  Inverness,  I  owe 
much  in  friendly  criticism  and  suggestions,  especially 

Vlll.  PREFACE, 

on  the  philological  aspect  of  the  names,  and  he  has 
kindly  read  all  my  proofs.  I  have  to  acknowledge 
most  valuable,  and  indeed  indispensable  assist- 
ance generously  rendered  by  the  Rev.  Charles 
M.  Robertson,  who  has  freely  placed  at  my  dis- 
posal his  unique  knowledge  of  the  Gaelic  forms 
of  Scottish  names  of  places.  The  majority  of 
the  Gaelic  forms  contained  in  the  following  pages 
have  been  independently  verified  both  by  him  and 
myself.  Valuable  assistance  has  also  been  received 
from  Mr  Donald  Mackenzie,  Inland  Revenue,  Bonar- 
Bridge  ;  Mr  John  Whyte,  Inverness  ;  and  from  Mr  J. 
Mathieson,  H.M.  Ordnance  Survey,  to  whose  pains- 
taking diligence  we  shall  soon  owe  a  map  of  Scot- 
land largely  purged  from  those  erroneous  and  mis- 
leading forms  of  names  which  render  the  existing 
O.S.  maps  useless  to  philologists. 

The  complete  Alphabetical  Index  of  about  3000 
names  has  been  prepared  by  my  colleague,  Mr  H. 
F.  Robson,  with  the  help  of  our  pupils,  and  revised 
by  myself. 

W.  J.  WATSON. 

INVERNESS,  May,  1904. 




Physical   Features*.— Ptolemy's   Account.— The   Picts.— The   Scots.— 

The  Norsemen — in  the  Isles  --on  the  West  Coast— on  the  East 
Coast. — English  Influence       .         .         .         .    *   .         .         .         .         xi. 

SECTION  II.— DIVISIONS. — Original  extent    and    meaning. — Ergadia    Borealis    or    North 
Argyle. — Cromarty. — Ardmeanach  or  Black  Isle. — Ferindonald. 
Ferintosh. — The  Five  "  Quarters." — Parishes. — Hebrides  or  Imise 
Gall xxi. 


Modern  Pronunciations,  English  and  Gaelic. — Old  Written  Forms. — 

Physical  Characteristics. — Analogy         ......   xxvii. 


Simple  or  uncompounded  names.  —  Simple  words  with  extension. — 
Compounds. — Phrase  Names. — Periods  represented  by  such.  — 
Prefixed  Adjectives  and  Accent. — Prefixed  Nouns  and  Accent. — 
Prepositions  and  Accent. — Accent  in  Simple  Names. — Accent  in 
Phrase-names. — The  Article. — Case xxxiii. 


Terms  used  to  denote  "  Pict."— P  and  Q  Celts.— Pictish  Names.— 
P-names. — Various.  —  Picto-Gaelic  Hybrids.  —  Pictish  Termina- 
tions.— Stream  Names  (a)  in  -n,  (6)  in  -ie,  (c)  various. — Pictish 
prefixes xlr. 


Distribution  of  terms. — Composition  of  Norse  names.  —Quantity  of 
first  syllable.  —  Crasis. — Norse-Gaelic  Hybrids.  —  Norse  Gaelic 
Phonetics — (a)  Vowels,  (6)  Consonants liii. 





Records  of  Applecross. — Sculptured  Stones. — Ecclesiastical  terms — 
ncimhidh  —  annaid  —  cM  —  clachan — tcampvM — eaglais — seipeil — 
manachainn  —  comraich  —  cdtair  —  crois  —  cananaich  —  sgir — 
manach  —  sagart  —  cliar  —  dtireach,  ministear.  —  Norse  Church 
terms. — Dedications  to  Columba. — Moluag. — Donnan.— Colman. — 
Malruba.— lurnan  or  Iturnan.— Fillan.— Congan.— Kentigerna.— 
Fionn.— Brigh.— Curitan.  —  Ferchar.  —  Dubhthach.  —  Cormac.— 
Roman  Catholic  Dedications lx. 


Terms  for  Streams. — Marshes. — Confluences. — Fords. — Sea  terms. — 
Flats.  —  Hollows.  — rHeights.  —  Promontories.  —  Woods,  trees, 
plants.  —  Animals. — Dwellings. — Cultivations  and  Enclosures. — 
Crops. — Occupations  and  Customs. — Land  Measures. — Numerical 
Combinations. — Historical  Events. — Miscellaneous  .  .  .  Ixxi, 



Parish  of 

Kincardine  . 

.       1 

Parish  of  Cromarty     . 

.  124 


Edderton    . 

.     23 

„         Rosemsrkie 

.  128 


Tain  . 

.     32 

.,         Avoch 

.  132 


Fearn  . 

.     40 

„         Knockbain  . 

.  136 



.     45 

,,         Killearnau  . 

.  142 


Nigg  .         .         . 

.     50 

,,         Contin 

.  147 


Logic  Easter 

.     58 

Glenshiel     . 

.  171 


Kilmuir  Easter  . 

.     63 


.  178 


Rosskeen     . 

.     69 

„         Lochalsh 

.  184 



.     75 

,,         Lochcarron  . 

.  192 



.     85 

„         Applecross  . 

.  201 


Dingwall     . 

.     93 

,,         Gairloch 

.  220 


Fodderty     . 

.     96 

„         Lochbroorn  . 

.  241 


Urray    '      . 

.  104 


.  26* 


Urquhart    . 

.  113 

Additions  and  Corrections  . 

.  273 



.  120 


.  285 



THE  County  of  Ross  and  Cromarty,  including  Physical 
Lewis,  the  northern  and  larger  part  of  the  Long  F 
Island,  is  the  third  largest  in  Scotland.  Its  mainland 
part  extends  from  sea  to  sea,  and  falls  naturally  into 
three  divisions,  Easter,  Wester,  and  Mid  Ross,  each 
of  which  possesses  a  character  of  its  own.  Much  of 
Easter  Ross,  between  the  Dornoch  and  Cromarty 
Firths,  is  distinctly  Lowland  or  even  English  in 
type.  Its  great  alluvial  plain,  Machair  Rois,  the 
plain  of  Ross,  comprises  some  of  the  richest  agri- 
cultural land  in  Scotland ;  much  of  it  stands  only  a 
few  feet  above  the  sea  level,  and  the  skeleton  of  a 
"  cetaceous  animal"1  found  at  Fearn  proves  that  it 
was  actually  covered  by  the  sea  at  no  very  remote 
period  as  geological  time  is  reckoned.  With  it 
goes  the  large  peninsula  known  as  the  Black  Isle, 
between  the  Firths  of  Cromarty  and  Inverness,  not 
level  like  the  Machair,  but  sloping  gently  to 
both  firths,  and  nowhere  particularly  Highland 
in  aspect.  Mid-Ross  may  be  said  to  extend 
from  the  western  watershed  to  the  uplands  of 

1  New  Statistical  Account. 

Xll.          PLACE-NAMES    OF    ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

Alness  and  Rosskeen.  It  is  a  region  of  glens, 
straths,  and  streams,  dominated  by  the  massive 
bulk  of  Ben  Wyvis,  and  drains  through  the  Conon 
and  its  tributaries  Orrin,  Meig,  Blackwater  into  the 
head  of  the  Cromarty  Firth.  Wester  Ross  is  the 
long  strip  to  the  west  of  the  watershed,  between 
the  latter  and  the  sea,  deeply  indented  by  sea 
lochs  and  seldom  far  from  sea  influence.  The  great 
"  hinterland "  of  Wester  and  Mid-Ross  is  wholly 
mountain  and  moor,  with  the  exception  of  the 
beautiful  valleys  of  the  Kincardine  Carron  and  its 
tributaries,  and  the  Oykell  and  Kyleside  Valley,  the 
latter  facing  Sutherland. 

Ptolemy's  Our  earliest  information  about  the  inhabitants  of 
Account.  j^oss  comes  from  the  geographer  Ptolemy  of  Alex- 
andria, who  lived  about  120  A.D.,  and  wrote  an 
account  of  Britain,  in  which  he  locates  a  number  of 
places  and  tribes,  the  position  of  which  can  be 
determined  with  more  or  less  confidence.  He  states 
that  from  the  Lemannonius  Sinus  (Loch  Fyne)  to 
the  estuary  of  the  Varar  (Beauly  Firth),  and  on  the 
east  side  of  Drumalban,  lay  the  Caledonii ;  westward 
of  them  were  the  Cerones  or  Creones.  These,  then, 
lay  on  the  southern  border  of  Ross.  In  the  district 
corresponding  to  Ross  were  the  Carnonacae  on  the 
west  coast,  the  Decantae  in  Easter  Ross  from  the 
Beauly  to  the  neighbourhood  of  Edderton,  and  the 
Smertae,  who  may  have  occupied  the  valleys  of  the 
Carron,  the  Oykell,  and  the  Shin.  Northwards  of 
these  lay  three  tribes,  the  Caereni  and  Cornavii  in 
north-west  Sutherland  and  Caithness,  and  in  the 


east  of  Sutherland  the  Lugi.  At  a  later  period  all  The  Picts. 
the  tribes  to  the  north  of  the  Roman  wall  between 
the  Firths  of  Forth  and  Clyde  were  included  under 
the  general  name  of  Picts,  those  north  of  the 
Grampians  being  referred  to  as  Northern  Picts,  and 
the  others  as  Southern  Picts.  The  headquarters  of 
the  King  of  the  Northern  Picts  at  the  time  of 
Columba's  visit  in  565  were  near  Inverness  ;  his 
authority  extended  at  least  as  far  as  the  Orkneys, 
probably  to  the  Shetlands.  With  regard  to  the 
Northern  Picts,  two  questions  arise  which  have  to 
he  kept  separate,  the  question  of  race,  and  the 
question  of  language.  On  the  latter  point  the 
place-names  should  throw  some  light ;  here  it  is 
enough  to  say  that  most  authorities  now  agree  that 
the  Picts  spoke  a  Celtic  language  not  of  the  Gaelic 
but  of  the  Welsh  or  Brittonic  type.  When  this 
Celtic  language  was  introduced  into  the  North  it 
is  hard  to  say  ;  certainly  it  was  there  in  the  first 
century,  for  Ptolemy's  names  are  Celtic.  Good 
authorities  place  the  coming  of  the  Celts  into  Britain 
about  600  B.C.,  others  much  earlier.  One  thing  is 
certain,  that  when  they  came  they  found  in 
possession  another  people  less  highly  civilised,  of  a 
different  race,  with  different  manners  and  customs. 
And,  as  Celtic  influence  would  reach  the  north  last, 
and  would  long  be  comparatively  weak,  it  is 
reasonable  to  suppose  that  there  these  primitive 
people  would  survive  longest  and  have  most  influence 
on  the  new-comers.  In  point  of  fact,  the  northern 
Picts  show  very  distinct  traces  of  non-Celtic 


institutions  and  customs  in  respect  of  their  family 
relations  and  their  mode  of  succession.  It  may  be 
concluded,  therefore,  that  the  Picts  were  a  mixed 
race,  combining  a  Celtic  strain  with  a  strong  dash 
of  non-Celtic  and  probably  non- Aryan  blood.  In 
very  remote  places  such  as  Lewis  this  non-Celtic 
element  would  naturally  be  strongest,  and,  indeed, 
is  probably  still  recognisable. 

The  Scots,  In  the  early  centuries  of  the  Christian  era  Scots 
from  Ireland  began  to  settle  among  the  Picts  of  the 
West  Coast.  The  first  colony  on  record  was  led  in 
the  second  century  by  Cairbre  Riada,  whence  the 
name  Dal-Riada  or  Riada's  lot.1  In  501  the  coming 
of  the  sons  of  Ere  with  a  strong  following  marks 
the  establishment  of  Dalriada  as  a  Scottish  kingdom 
roughly  co-extensive  with  the  modern  Argyle.  The 
influence  of  the  Gaelic-speaking  Dalriadic  Scots 
gradually  spread  northward  along  the  coast  and 
among  the  islands.  When  it  reached  the  west 
coast  of  Ross  we  cannot  say  exactly,  but  it  is 
significant  that  in  673  Malruba,  an  Irish  priest  and 
noble,  founded  the  monastery  of  Applecross,  and  it 
is  probably  safe  to  assume  that  at  that  date  Apple- 
cross  was  well  within  Dalriadic  territory.  There 
are  at  least  two  other  indications  of  the  rapid  spread 
of  the  Gaels  on  the  west.  When  the  Norsemen  came 
in  793,  they  called  the  Minch  Skotland-fjorcSr,  the 
firth  of  the  land  of  the  Scots  ;  the  province  of 

1  "  Scoti,  duce  Reuda  de  Hibernia  egressi,  amicitia  vel  ferro  sibimet  inter 
Pictos  sedes  quas  hactenus  habent  Yindicaveruut."  The  Scots,  led  by  Riada, 
left  Ireland,  and  by  friendship  or  force  won  for  themselves  among  the  Picts 
those  territories  which  they  still  possess. — Bede,  Eccl.  Hist.,  L.  i.,  c.  1. 


Argyle  extended  from  the  Clyde  to  Lochbroom,  and 
Argyle  (Gael.  Earra-Ghaidheal,  older  Airer  Goedel), 
means  the  bounds  of  the  Gael  or  Scots  from  Ireland. 
Not  the  least  difficult  of  the  problems  in  early 
Scottish  history  is  the  manner  in  which  the  language 
of  the  Gaels  supplanted  that  of  the  Picts.  For  the 
west  coast  the  answer,  as  has  been  seen,  is  easy :  it 
was  settled  by  Scots  at  an  early  date.  In  the  east 
various  causes  can  be  seen  to  have  co-operated.  In 
the  first  place,  Gaelic  was  the  language  of  the  more 
highly  civilised  people,  which  made  it  a  priori 
unlikely  that  it  should  give  way  to  Pictish. 
Another  factor,  the  importance  of  which  can 
hardly  be  over-estimated,  was  the  influence 
of  the  Celtic  Church.  Again,  the  advent  of 
the  Norse  on  the  West  Coast  must  have  had  the 
effect  of  driving  the  Gaelic-speaking  settlers  east- 
ward. Lastly,  we  cannot  tell  how  long  Pictish 
survived  in  Easter  Koss.  It  is  possible  and  even 
probable  that,  just  as  on  the  West  there  was  a 
period  when  first  Gaelic  and  Pictish,  then  Gaelic 
and  Norse,  were  spoken  side  by  side,  so  on  the  East 
Coast,  Pictish,  Gaelic,  and  Norse  were  spoken  con- 
currently. Pictish  has,  in  any  case,  left  very  strong 
traces  in  Easter  Ross  place-names. 

The  Norsemen  began  to  make  plundering  expedi-  The 
tions  on  the  coasts  of  Britain  before  the  end  of  the 
eighth  century.  In  793  they  sacked  Lindisfarne  J 
in  798  they  plundered  part  of  Man  and  the  Hebrides  ; 
in  802  they  ravaged  lona,  and  in  806  they  slew 
sixty-eight  of  the  monastic  family  there  ;  during 

xvi.        PLACE-NAMES   OF   ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

the  same  period  they  made  incursions  on  the  Irish 
coasts  also.  Monasteries,  being  rich  and  defenceless, 
were  special  objects  of  attack,  and  there  can  be  little 
doubt,  though  record  is  silent  on  the  subject,  that  to 
them  was  due  the  destruction  of  Malruba's  Monastery 
of  Applecross. 

i.  In  the  By  degrees  they  began  to  settle  both  in  Ireland 
Isles'  and  in  the  Isles.  In  872  Harold  Harfagr,  King  of 
Norway,  found  it  necessary  to  lead  an  expedition 
against  the  western  Vikings,  when  he  subjugated 
Orkney,  Shetland,  and  the  Sudreys  (the  Hebrides) 
as  far  south  as  Man,  But  as  in  Ireland  settlement 
began  in  the  first  quarter  of  the  ninth  century,  it  is 
probable  that  tbe  Hebrides,  which  lie  on  the  way  to 
Ireland,  were  occupied  long  before  King  Harold's 
expedition.  What  is  known  of  the  subsequent 
history  of  the  Norse  settlements  in  the  Western 
Isles  has  been  related  too  often  to  need  repetition.1 
The  Isles  were  finally  ceded  by  Norway  in  1266,  in 
consequence  of  the  disastrous  battle  of  Largs,  having 
been  more  or  less  under  Norse  influence  for  about 
470  years.  For  much  of  that  time  the  Norse 
language  must  have  been  predominant  ;  the  Isles 
were  not  felt  to  be  part  of  Scotland ;  mainland 
Gaels  referred  to  them  as  Innse  Gall,  the  Isles  of 
the  strangers.  And  if  Norse  was  spoken  in  Lewis 
in  1266,  as  it  doubtless  was,  it  is  not  too  much  to 
suppose  that  it  was  not  wholly  extinct  at  the  time 
of  Bannockburn  or  even  later.  Hence  at  once  the 

1  Gregory's  History  of  the  Western  Highlands  ;  Dr  A.  Macbain  iu  Trans,  of 
Inverness  Gael.  Soc.,  rol.  xix. 


preponderance  of  Norse  names  and  their  remarkable 
freshness  as  preserved  in  common  speech. 

The  Norse  occupation  of  the  western  mainland  ii.  On  the 
probably  began  later,  ended  earlier,  and,  to  judge  WestCoafit- 
from  the  place-names,  was  less  continuous  in  extent. 
On  the  west  of  Boss  they  seem  to  have  selected  the 
parts  most  fertile  arid  best  adapted  for  grazing. 
Kintail  and  Glenshiel  show  very  little  Norse  influ- 
ence ;  it  was  strong  in  Gairloch  and  round  the 
shores  of  Loch  Maree.  But  in  no  part  of  Wester 
Ross  did  the  old  Celtic  nomenclature  wholly  give 
way ;  from  Loch  Duich  to  Loch  Broom  not  only  old 
Gaelic  but  even  Pictish  names  are  well  in  evidence. 

On  the  eastern  mainland,  according  to  the  Sagas,  iii.  On  the 
Thorstein  the  Red,  together  with  Sigurd  of  Orkney,  East  Coa8t- 
conquered  and  ruled  over  Caithness  and  Sutherland, 
Ross  and  Moray,  and  more  than  half  of  Scotland.1 
Their  exploits  here  referred  to  took  place  about  875, 
and  the  net  result  of  them  appears  to  have  been 
that  the  Norsemen  retained  possession  at  least  as  far 
south  as  Dingwall.  Over  a  hundred  years  later, 
eirc.  980,  Sigurd,  Earl  of  Orkney,  defeated  Finlay, 
Mormaer  of  Moray,  at  Skida  Myre  in  Caithness,  and 
established  his  power  over  "  dominions  in  Scotland, 
Ross  and  Moray,  Sutherland  and  the  Dales." 
Earl  Sigurd  fell  at  Clontarf,  1014.  The  Norse 
power  on  the  mainland  attained  its  highest  point 
under  his  son  Thorfinn,  of  whom  the  Sagas  say  that 
he  held  "  nine  Earldoms  in  Scotland,  the  whole  of 

1  Islands  Landndmabdk. 

XV111.        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

the  Sudreys,  and  a  large  territory  in  Ireland."1  He 
died  in  1064,  and  after  his  time  the  Norse  dominions 
gradually  contracted  to  Caithness.  "  Many  rikis 
which  the  Earl  had  subjected  fell  off,  and  the 
inhabitants  sought  the  protection  of  those  native 
chiefs  who  were  territorially  born  to  rule  over 
them."  2  At  the  beginning  of  the  twelfth  century 
Norse  may  still  have  been  spoken  in  Easter  Ross, 
but  the  power  of  the  native  chiefs  was  reviving,  and 
by  the  middle  of  it  we  find  Malcolm  MacHeth  in 
the  position  of  Earl  of  Ross,  The  total  duration  of 
the  Norse  supremacy  in  Easter  Ross  was  rather  less 
than  200  years.  The  place-names  are  instructive. 
No  name  of  Norse  origin  appears  south  of  the  Beauly 
valley.  The  centre  of  administration  was  Dingwall, 
Thing-vollr,  plain  of  the  Thing,  the  Norse  court  of 
justice.  Some  important  valleys  well  inland  bear 
Norse  names,  Alladale,  Dibidale,  Strathrusdale, 
Scatwell.  The  Black  Isle  shows  only  two  or  three  ; 
elsewhere  the  proportion  is  about  the  same  for  the 
area  as  on  the  West  Coast.  To  Norse  influence  per- 
haps may  be  due  the  curious  fact  that  none  of  the 
larger  streams  that  flow  into  the  Cromarty  Firth — 
Uarie,  Averon,  Conon — show  an  Inver  or  an  Aber. 
Such  Invers  as  exist  belong  to  small  streams,  the 
largest  being  the  Peffery,  which  gives  Inver-feoran 
(Inbhir-pheofharain),  the  Gaelic  name  of  Dingwall. 
In  the  Dingwall  Charters,  the  estuary  of  the  Conon 
appears  as  Stavek,  plainly  Norse,  probably  Staf-vik, 

1  Orkneyinga  Saga.        2  Orkneyinga  Saga. 


Staff-bay,  a  name  which,  it  may  be  suggested, 
supplanted  an  old  *Aberconon,  to  be  in  its  turn 

In  Wester  Eoss  the  Norsemen  met  the  Gael ;  on 
the  eastern  side  they  doubtless  met  both  Gael  and 

The  twelfth  century  saw  the  triumph  of  Gaelic  English 
over  Pictish  and   Norse;  and  probably  this  period Influcnce- 
(circ.  1100-1200)  was  the  only  one  since  the  coming 
of  the  Gaels,  in  which  one  language  and  only  one 
was    spoken    throughout    the   mainland    of    Eoss. 
Under  Pictish  rule,  Ross  was  governed  from  Inver- 
ness ;  in  the  time  of  Norse  supremacy  its  over-lords 
hailed  from  Orkney.       The  twelfth  century  was  a 
transition  stage ;  at  its  close  Eoss  was  fast  coming 
into  touch  with  the  south  of  Scotland,  and  to  some 
extent  with   the  language  of  the   Lowland  Scots. 
That  English  is  of  long  standing   in  the  north  is 
proved  by  the  place-name  Wardlaw,  near  Beauly, 
which  appears  on  record  in   1210  Wardelaue,   the 
hillock  where   watch    and  ward    was  kept  by   the 
retainers  of  the  Norman  Lord  of  the  Aird,  John 
Byset.       No    Norman   baron,   however,   obtained  a 
grant  of  land   in    Eoss  ;    English    was    introduced 
there  through  the  Eoyal  Castles  and  the  Church. 
In   1179  William  the  Lion  founded  the  Castles  of 
Dunskaith  in  Nigg,  and  Eddirdover,  now  Eedcastle. 
In  the  next  century  we  find  the  Castles  of  Cromarty 
and  Dingwall  upheld  by  the  Crown  and  the  Castle  of 
Avoch  belonging  to  the  De  Moravia  family.    In  all  of 

XV111.        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

the  Sudreys,  and  a  large  territory  in  Ireland."1  He 
died  in  1064,  and  after  his  time  the  Norse  dominions 
gradually  contracted  to  Caithness.  "  Many  rikis 
which  the  Earl  had  subjected  fell  off,  and  the 
inhabitants  sought  the  protection  of  those  native 
chiefs  who  were  territorially  born  to  rule  over 
them."  2  At  the  beginning  of  the  twelfth  century 
Norse  may  still  have  been  spoken  in  Easter  Hoss, 
but  the  power  of  the  native  chiefs  was  reviving,  and 
by  the  middle  of  it  we  find  Malcolm  MacHeth  in 
the  position  of  Earl  of  Ross,  The  total  duration  of 
the  Norse  supremacy  in  Easter  Ross  was  rather  less 
than  200  years.  The  place-names  are  instructive. 
No  name  of  Norse  origin  appears  south  of  the  Beauly 
valley.  The  centre  of  administration  was  Dingwall, 
Thing-vollr,  plain  of  the  Thing,  the  Norse  court  of 
justice.  Some  important  valleys  well  inland  bear 
Norse  names,  Alladale,  Dibidale,  Strathrusdale, 
Scatwell.  The  Black  Isle  shows  only  two  or  three  ; 
elsewhere  the  proportion  is  about  the  same  for  the 
area  as  on  the  West  Coast.  To  Norse  influence  per- 
haps may  be  due  the  curious  fact  that  none  of  the 
larger  streams  that  flow  into  the  Cromarty  Firth — 
Uarie,  Averon,  Conon — show  an  Inver  or  an  Aber. 
Such  Invers  as  exist  belong  to  small  streams,  the 
largest  being  the  Peffery,  which  gives  Inver-feoran 
(Inbhir-pheofharain),  the  Gaelic  name  of  Dingwall. 
In  the  Dingwall  Charters,  the  estuary  of  the  Conon 
appears  as  Stavek,  plainly  Norse,  probably  Staf-vik, 

1  Orkneyinga  Saga.        2  Orkneyinga  Saga. 


Staff-bay,  a  name  which,  it  may  be  suggested, 
supplanted  an  old  *Aberconon,  to  be  in  its  turn 

In  Wester  Ross  the  Norsemen  met  the  Gael ;  on 
the  eastern  side  they  doubtless  met  both  Gael  and 

The  twelfth  century  saw  the  triumph  of  Gaelic  English 
over  Pictish  and  Norse;  and  probably  this  period Influen 
(circ.  1100-1200)  was  the  only  one  since  the  coming 
of  the  Gaels,  in  which  one  language  and  only  one 
was  spoken  throughout  the  mainland  of  Ross. 
Under  Pictish  rule,  Ross  was  governed  from  Inver- 
ness ;  in  the  time  of  Norse  supremacy  its  over-lords 
hailed  from  Orkney.  The  twelfth  century  was  a 
transition  stage ;  at  its  close  Ross  was  fast  coming 
into  touch  with  the  south  of  Scotland,  and  to  some 
extent  with  the  language  of  the  Lowland  Scots. 
That  English  is  of  long  standing  in  the  north  is 
proved  by  the  place-name  Wardlaw,  near  Beauly, 
which  appears  on  record  in  1210  Wardelaue,  the 
hillock  where  watch  and  ward  was  kept  by  the 
retainers  of  the  Norman  Lord  of  the  Aird,  John 
Byset.  No  Norman  baron,  however,  obtained  a 
grant  of  land  in  Ross  ;  English  was  introduced 
there  through  the  Royal  Castles  and  the  Church. 
In  1179  William  the  Lion  founded  the  Castles  of 
Dunskaith  in  Nigg,  and  Eddirdover,  now  Redcastle. 
In  the  next  century  we  find  the  Castles  of  Cromarty 
and  Dingwall  upheld  by  the  Crown  and  the  Castle  of 
Avoch  belonging  to  the  De  Moravia  family.  In  all  of 


these  the  garrison  was,  doubtless,  composed  chiefly 
of  Lowlanders.  The  seat  of  the  Bishopric  of  Ross 
was  at  Rosemarkie  ;  in  1227  the  Chapter  of  Ross 
consists  wholly,  with  one  exception,1  of  clerics  bear- 
ing English  names.  So  with  the  Bishops  of  Ross, 
all  except  the  first,  Macbeth.  The  other  chief 
centre  of  ecclesiastical  influence  in  Easter  Ross  at 
this  period  was  the  Abbey  of  Fearn,  founded  circ. 
1225,  whose  Abbots  as  a  rule  came  from  Whithorn 
in  Galloway,  and  may  or  may  not  have  known 
Gaelic  ;  their  names  are  usually  English.  The  fame 
of  St  Duthac's  shrine  at  Tain  was  also  a  factor  of 
some  importance  in  attracting  Lowland  pilgrims. 
In  1306  we  actually  find  Walter,  son  of  the  Earl  of 
Ross,  a  scholar  at  Cambridge.  All  this,  of  course, 
had  little  effect  on  the  native  Gaelic,  but  it  shows 
that  in  the  vicinity  of  Castle,  Cathedral,  and  Abbey, 
as  well  as  among  the  upper  classes,  there  must  have 
been  some  acquaintance  with  English.  And  at  the 
present  day  we  find  that  it  is  precisely  in  these 
places — Tain,  Cromarty,  Rosemarkie,  Avoch,  and,  to 
a  less  extent,  Dingwall — that  Gaelic,  except  for 
importations,  has  practically  died  out.  The  Castles 
of  the  West  Coast,  Strome  and  Ellandonan,  were 
garrisoned  not  by  King's  men,  but  by  Gaelic- 
speaking  clansmen  of  native  chiefs,  and  were  oftener 
held  against  the  King  than  for  him. 

1  The  exception  is  Donald,  Vicar  of  Locunethereth  (Logic  Wester). 




The  ancient  district  of  Ross,1  which  gives  its 
name  to  the  modern  county,  originally  extended  from 
the  Stockford  on  the  river  Beauly  to  Tarbat  Ness, 
thus  comprising  Easter  and  Mid  Ross,  together  with  a 
slice  of  Inverness-shire.  The  name  has  been  explained 
as  from  (l)  Ir.  and  Gael,  ros,  a  promontory;  (2) 
Ir.  ros,  a  wood  ;  (3)  Welsh  rhos,  a  moor  ;  Breton 
ros,  a  knoll,  all  equally  possible  phonetically.  Ros, 
a  wood,  does  not  seem  to  occur  elsewhere  in  Scottish 
topography ;  ros,  a  promontory,  when  it  occurs,  is 
used  with  the  article,  e.g.,  an  Ros  Muileach,  the 
Ross  of  Mull,  but  the  article  never  appears  with 
the  county  name  ;  for  these  and  other  reasons  a 
Brythonic  or  Pictish  origin  seems  most  likely.  The 
meaning  of  "  moor"  would  have  been  appropriate  in 
times  antecedent  to  regular  cultivation. 

The  Pictish  kingdom  was  divided  into  provinces 
—traditionally  seven — ruled  by  petty  kings  called 
Mormaers,  who  were  subject  to  the  head-king. 
Whether  Ross  ever  possessed  a  Mormaer  of  its  own 
does  not  appear  ;  in  the  records  it  goes  with  Moray. 

1  Probably  the  earliest  mention  of  Ross  occurs  in  the  Life  of  St  Cadroe, 
ascribed  to  the  llth  century.  "The  Choerisci"  (wandering  Celts  from  Asia 
Minor,  according  to  the  legend),  crossed  over  from  Ireland  and  peopled  lona. 
Thereafter  they  coasted  along  the  sea  which  adjoins  Britain,  and,  through 
the  valley  of  the  river  Rosia,  entered  Rossia  (per  Rosim  amnem,  Rossiam 
invaserunt).  The  river  Rosis,  according  to  Skene,  is  the  Rasay,  now  called 
the  Blackwater.  The  legend  may  be  based  on  an  eastward  movement  of  the 
West  Coast  Gaels. 


The  first  Earl  of  Ross  was  Malcolm  MacHeth,1 
circ.  1157,  son  of  Ed,  Earl  of  Moray,  and  Malcolm, 
who  succeeded  his  brother  Angus  slain  in  rebellion 
in  1130,  appears  to  have  received  the  Earldom  of 
Ross  on  his  reconciliation  to  King  David  I.,  as  part 
of  his  ancestral  dominions. 

The  next  Earl  of  Ross  is  the  Count  of  Holland, 
of  whom  nothing  is  recorded.  About  1220  the  title 
was  conferred  by  Alexander  II.  on  Ferchar  Mac-in- 
tagart  (son  of  the  priest),  surnamed  O'Beolan,  who 
appears  to  be  rightly  regarded  as  the  then  repre- 
sentative of  the  lay  Abbots  of  Applecross.  The 
accession  of  Ferchar  was  fraught  with  important 
consequences,  local  and  national.  As  lord  of  the 
Church  lands  of  Applecross,  he  was  already 
practically  chief  of  the  district  from  Kintail  to 
Lochbroom,  known  then  as  North  Argyle  ;  when, 
in  addition,  he  became  Earl  of  Ross,  he  was  the 
leading  man  in  the  north.  This  power,  loyally 
exercised  as  it  was  by  Ferchar  and  his  descendants, 
was  largely  instrumental  in  establishing  the 
authority  of  the  Scottish  Crown  in  the  Highlands 
at  this  critical  period.  Locally  he  brought  the 
easter  and  the  wester  divisions  together  under  one 
strong  hand,  thus  preparing  the  way  for  the  modern 
county.  Previous  Earls  were,  of  course,  Earls  of 
Ross  only,  i.e.,  the  district  east  of  the  central 

1  Heth,  Head,  Eth,  Ed  all  represented  Gael.  Aed,  later  Aodh,  Hugh 
(stili  used  as  a  personal  name  in  Sutherland).  MacHeth  in  modern  Gaelic  is 
MacAoidh,  Mackay.  Skene's  Highlanders  of  Scotland,  ed.  Dr  A.  Macbain. 



The  western  sea-board  from  Kintail  to  Lochbroom  Ergadia 
was,  from  the  beginning  of  the  Scottish  Monarchy, 
known  as  North  Argyle  or  Ergadia  Borealis.  a  term 
of  which  the  significance  has  been  explained  above. 
In  1292  William,  Earl  of  Boss,  grandson  of  Ferchar, 
got  his  lands  of  "  Skey,  Lodoux,  and  North  Argyle  " 
erected  into  the  Sheriffdom  of  Skye  by  King  John 
Balliol.  The  West  Coast  continues  to  appear  under 
the  name  of  North  Argyll  till  the  early  part  of  the 
fifteenth  century. 

The  Sheriffdom  of  Cromarty,  which  appears  to  Cromarty 
have  been  originally  connected  with  the  Royal 
Castle  there,  appears  on  record  in  1266,  when 
William  de  Monte  Alto  was  "  vicecomes  de  Crum- 
bauchtyn."  It  was  of  very  small  extent,  apparently 
not  exceeding  the  bounds  of  the  modern  parish  of 
Cromarty,  yet  under  its  hereditary  Sheriffs  always 
continued  separate,  and  when  in  1661  the  Sheriffdom 
of  Ross  was  definitely  disjoined  from  that  of  Inver- 
ness, Cromarty  is  specifically  excepted.  The  first 
Earl  of  Cromarty  was  Sir  George  Mackenzie  of 
Tarbat,  grandson  of  the  Tutor  of  Kintail  (an 
Taoitear  Taileach),  who  was  made  Earl  in  1703, 
and  obtained  the  privilege  of  having  his  various 
estates,  large  and  small,  throughout  Ross  erected 
into  the  new  County  of  Cromarty,  an  arrangement 
extremely  inconvenient,  and  now  surviving  only  in 
the  county  name  Ross  and  Cromarty. 

The  Black  Isle,  Gael,  an  t-Eilean  Dubh,  a  mis- 
nomer  which  can  be  easily  paralleled,  is  the  name  ° 
the  peninsula  between  the  firths  of  Cromarty  and 



Inverness.  Peninsulas  are  frequently  miscalled 
"  islands  ;"  the  classical  instance  is  Peloponnesus, 
Pelops'  Isle.  The  epithet  "  black "  is  sensibly 
explained  by  the  writers  of  the  Old  Stat.  Ace., 
from  the  fact  that  even  in  their  time  four-fifths  of 
it  was  black  moor,  uncultivated.  Its  old  official 
name  is  Ardmanache  or  Arclmeaiiach,  meaning  the 
"  mid  height,"  midway,  that  is  to  say,  between  the 
firths,  surviving  in  the  farm  of  Ardmeanach, 
near  Fortrose.  A  still  older  name  is  Eddirdail, 
now  obsolete,  meaning  apparently  Eadar-da-dhail, 
Between  two  dales.  The  Lordship  of  Ardmanach 
went  with  the  fortalice  of  Redcastle,  and  included 
all  the  Black  Isle,  except  the  Sheriffdom  of 

Ferindonald  The  district  from  "the  Averon  or  Alness  River  to 
the  burn  of  Allt  na  Lathaid,  to  the  east  of  Ding- 
wall,  was  called  of  old  Ferindonald,  G.  Fearainu 
Domhnuill,  Donald's  land,  a  name  still  in  use.  It 
comprises  the  parishes  of  Alness  and  Kiltearn,  and 
is  the  land  of  the  Clan  Munro.  The  Donald  in 
question  is  the  traditional  founder  of  the  house  of 
Fowlis,  and  is  supposed  to  have  received  this  grant 
of  land  from  Malcolm  II.  (1005-1034)  for  services 
rendered  against  Danish  invaders.  Though  this 
account  cannot  be  verified — the  origin  of  the  Munros 
is  one  of  the  problems  of  Clan  history — it  may  be 
substantially  correct.  The  name  Ferindonald  i& 
parallel  to  Dalriada  and  Ferintosh. 

Ferintosh.        The  origin  of  the  division  of  Ferintosh  is  explained 
at  p.  114.     It  is  expressly  excluded  from  Ross  in  the 


Act  of  Parliament  of   1661,  and  till  recent  times 
continued  to  form  part  of  the  county  of  Nairn. 

The  "five  quarters"  of  Ross  appear  in  1479  in  The  Five 
connection  with  the  confiscated  estates  of  John,  last  U(^ua 
Earl  of  Ross.  They  are  (l)  Delney,  extending 
from  Tarbat  Ness  to  the  Alness  River  ;  (2)  Balkeny 
or  Balcony,  co-extensive  with  the  bounds  of  Ferin- 
donald  as  given  above  ;  (3)  Kynnardy  or  Kinnairdie, 
including  the  valley  of  the  Peffery,  arid  the  parts 
to  the  south  and  west  of  it,  viz.,  Moy,  Achilty, 
Scatwell  Meikle,  Brahan,  Dunglust,  Ussie ;  (4) 
Kynnellane,  modern  Kinnellan,  which  included 
"  Coul,  Rogy,  cum  le  Ess,  Li  till  Sea  thole  cum  le 
Ess,  Foreste  de  Rannach,  Meyn  in  Straquhonane, 
the  two  Eskatellis,  Innermany,  Innerquhonray, 
Kinlochbenquherane  ;"  (5)  Fyrnewer  (a  name  now 
obsolete),  from  Fairburn  round  by  the  Beauly  Firth 
to  Kessock  :  "  the  Ferburnys,  Auchansawle,  Arcoyn, 
Balbrade,  Urra,  Kynculadrum,  le  Orde,  Belblare, 
Balnagoun,  Kynkell,  Logyenreith,  and  the  two 
Kessokis."  Though  this  is  the  first  appearance 
of  the  quarters  as  a  whole,  there  appear  on 
record  the  quarter  of  Petkenney  in  1281  and  the 
"  maresium  of  Fernewyr "  in  1350,  from  which 
it  is  a  fair  inference  that  the  other  "  quarters " 
also  existed  long  prior  to  1479.  They  were 
evidently  divisions  of  the  Earldom  of  Ross,  each 
under  a  "  maor,"  or  land  steward,  but  they  may 
have  represented  still  older  tribal  divisions,  or, 
possibly,  the  Norse  organisation. 


Parishes.  The  division  into  parishes  must  have  been  roughly 
contemporary  with  the  organisation  of  the  Bishopric 
of  Ross,  circ.  1128.  The  Bishopric  was  co-extensive 
with  the  Earldom,  and  therefore  it  was  only  on  the 
accession  of  Ferchar  Mac-in-tagart,  circ.  1220,  that 
it  came  to  include  the  churches  of  North  Argyle. 
But  little  change  seems  to  have  taken  place  in  the 
parochial  organisation,  the  chief  being  the  disjunction 
of  Fearn  from  Tarbat  in  1628,  the  union  of  Kilt  earn 
and  Lemlair,  of  Kinnettes  and  Fodderty,  and  of 
Urray  and  Gilchrist  (date  uncertain) ;  of  Kirkmichael 
and  Cullicudden  in  1G62,  of  Urquhart  and  Logie 
Wester  circ.  1669,  and  of  Kilmuir  Wester  and 
Suddy  in  1756,  now  Knockbain.  Glenshiel  is  a 
new  parish  carved  out  of  Kin  tail.  Before  the 
arrangement  of  1661,  the  parish  of  Kilmorack 
belonged  territorially  to  Ross,  as  it  still  does 
ecclesiastically.  In  dealing  with  parish  names,  it 
is  important  to  bear  in  mind  that  the  name  of  a 
parish  is  regularly  taken  either  from  the  old  parish 
church,  e.g.  Kilmuir,  or  from  the  spot  where  the  old 
church  stood,  e.g.  Logie. 

Hebrides.  The  name  Hebrides  has  arisen  from  a  misreading 
of  Pliny's  Haebudes,  which,  he  says  were  thirty  in 
number.  Ptolemy  gives  only  five  Aebudae.  The 
word  must  be  Pictish,  or  pre-Pictish  ;  its  meaning 
is  quite  obscure,  but  it  has  been  suggested  with 
some  probability  that  its  modern  representative  is 
Bute,  Gael.  Bod.  During  the  Norse  occupation 
they  were  called  by  the  Gaels  Innse-Gall,  by  the 
Norse  themselves  Sudreys,  the  south  isles. 


XXV 11. 


The  study  of  names  of  places  involves  two  pro- 
cesses, collection  of  facts  and  interpretation,  and  if 
the  interpretation  is  to  be  sound,  the  facts  on  which 
it  is  based  must  be  accurate  and  adequate.  It  is 
therefore  proper  at  the  outset  to  consider  the  nature 
of  the  facts  at  our  disposal  in  dealing  with  the 
names  encountered  in  Ross  and  Cromarty,  names 
which  fall,  in  respect  of  language,  into  four 
divisions  —  Pictish,  Gaelic,  Norse,  and  English. 
These  facts  or  data  are,  in  the  main,  of  three 

(1)  The  names  as  they  are  now  pronounced. 

(2)  Old  written  forms. 

(3)  Physical  characteristics  of  the  places  denoted  by  the 


(l)  At  the  present  day  both  Gaelic  and  English  Modem 
are  spoken  over  the  whole  of  the  county,  with  this 
qualification,  that  in  the  eastern  part  English  is 
predominant,  while  Gaelic  still  prevails  on  the  West 
Coast  and  in  Lewis.  The  result  is  that  to  some 
extent  over  the  whole,  but  especially  in  Easter  Ross, 
we  have  a  sort  of  double  nomenclature  ;  on  the  one 
hand  the  names  as  they  are  pronounced  by  the 
Gaelic-speaking  natives,  on  the  other  the  Anglified 
forms  used  by  English  speakers,  and  by  Gaelic 
natives,  too,  when  speaking  English.  These  latter 
are  the  "official"  forms  which  appear  in  the 
Valuation  Roll,  the  Post-Office  Directory,  and  on 


the  maps,  and  are  often  of  considerable  antiquity. 
The  form  Raddery,  for  instance,  must  have  come 
into  vogue  at  a  period  when  the  d  of  the  modern 
G.  Radharaidh  was  still  audible  as  a  consonant. 
Culbokie  dates  from  a  time  when  the  o  sound  had 
not  yet  become  a,  as  it  has  in  modern  G.  Cuil- 
bhaicidh.  Strathpeffer  shows  in  an  unaspirated 
form  the /of  modern  G.  Srath-pheofhair.  Cromarty 
and  Drumderfit  show  old  teminations  lost  in  the 
modern  G.  forms  Cromba!  and  Druima-diar.  Yet 
the  practical  value  of  modern  English  forms  by 
themselves  is  small ;  at  their  best  they  fail  to 
indicate  the  quantity  or  the  quality  of  vowels, 
and  often  they  have  undergone  changes  that  quite 
disguise  the  original.  Modern  Gaelic  forms  of 
Gaelic  names  which  have  been  handed  down  by 
unbroken  tradition  have  undergone  only  such 
changes  as  occur  regularly  within  the  language ; 
they  are,  in  fact,  Gaelic  words,  conforming  to  the 
rules  of  Gaelic  phonetics,  and  form  as  good  a  starting 
point  for  the  philologist  as  any  other  Gaelic  words. 
There  remains  the  question  of  the  value  of  Gaelic 
forms  of  names  originally  Pictish  or  Norse.  In  the 
case  of  Norse  names,  the  answer  is  easy.  Gaelic 
has  been,  on  the  whole,  wonderfully  consistent  in 
its  treatment  of  the  old  Norse  vowels  and  con- 
sonants, and  it  possesses  the  great  advantage  of 
clearly  indicating  the  quantity  of  the  vowel  in  the 
first  syllable  of  Norse  names,  which  is  usually  the 
important  part.  In  one  small  class  of  such  names, 
indeed,  it  fails  us  badly,  but  it  is  safe  to  say  that 



very  slight  authority  can  be  attached  to  any  investi- 
gation of  Norse  names    that  fails  to  take   careful 
account  of  the  modern  Gaelic  forms.     These  forms 
are  imitations,  but  they  are  only  one  degree  removed 
from  the  original ;  the  English  forms  are  imitations 
of  an  imitation.     How  Pictish  names  have  fared  in 
Gaelic  mouths  is  the  more  difficult  to  determine, 
because  practically  no  specimens  of  that  language 
have   come    down   to    us.      It    may,  however,    be 
remarked  that  there  is  no  reason  to  suppose  that 
they  were  treated  differently  from  the  Norse  names  ; 
Gaelic   may    be    expected     to   preserve    the   vowel 
quantity  of  accented  syllables,  and  to  be  tolerably 
consistent  in  its  phonetics.     In  both  cases  there  was 
a  bilingual  period,  which  gave  the  Gaels  ample  time 
to   become    familiar   with    the   names   which    they 
adopted    from   Pict   and    Norseman.     The   changes 
undergone  subsequently   have,   of  course,   been    in 
accordance   with   those    of    Gaelic.       Examples    of 
Pictish    and    Norse   names   as    they  appear  in   the 
modern  forms  will  appear  later  in  treating  of  these 
elements  ;  in  the  meantime  some  may  be  given  to 
illustrate   the    comparative   value    of    the    modern 
Gaelic  forms  of  Gaelic  words  as  compared  with  their 
English  equivalents — 








Bail'  an  ianlaith. 

Tigh  na  fidhle. 


Eadar  dha  fhaodhail. 

am  Bac  Ban. 

Loch  na  h-Uidhe. 



Pookandraw         Bog  an  t-srath. 

Fowlis  Folais. 

Kiurive  Ceanna-ruigh. 

Fain  na  Feithean. 

Dochcarty  Do'ach  Gartaidh. 

Other  examples  will  be  found  passim. 

Old  (2)  The    forms    of  names    preserved  in  ancient 

Written  documerits  have  been  utilised  with  much  success  by 
Dr  Joyce  in  dealing  with  Irish  names  of  places.  In 
Irish  writings,  names  have  been  transmitted  with 
great  care  from  very  ancient  times  by  scribes  who 
were  masters  of  the  language,  and  from  them 
the  original  forms  can  often  be  ascertained  with 
immediate  certainty.  For  Scotland,  unfortunately, 
the  case  is  diiferent.  The  great  bulk  of  our  written 
forms  date  only  from  the  period  not  earlier  than  the 
twelfth  century,  when  charters  came  in  under  the 
sons  of  Margaret.  Their  authority,  moreover,  is 
largely  discounted  by  the  fact  that  they  were  written 
by  scribes  who  knew  no  Gaelic,  and  consequently 
spelled  at  random.  In  the  case  of  Highland  names, 
it  is  obvious  that  charter  forms  must  have  been 
more  or  less  phonetic  attempts  at  reproducing 
Gaelic  pronunciations,  and  their  value  is,  therefore, 
greatest  when  they  can  be  controlled  and  inter- 
preted by  the  modern  Gaelic.  This  applies  equally 
to  all  names  not  of  English  origin,  whether  they  are 
Pictish,  Norse,  or  Gaelic.  Thus  controlled,  the 
charter  forms  are  often  helpful  and  suggestive  ;  as 
independent  authorities,  they  are  unreliable.  A 
few  examples  are  given  in  illustration  ;  others  in 
abundance  will  be  found  elsewhere — 


XXX 1. 


Petnely  1512 

Bail'  an  ianlaith. 


Pitkeri  1529 


Strath  of  Pitcaluie 

Culderare  1611 

C  uilt-eararaidh. 


le  Royis  1479 

na  Ruigheannaiu 

Ilu  vis  1487 


Dalgeny  1356 



Aleiies  1227 



Lemnelar  1227 

Luirn  na'  Lar. 


Larny  1576 



Ochtercloy  1456 


Achtirflo  1560 


Culcolly  1294 


Culcowy  1479 


Tannachtan  1548 


Safnachan  1583 

Perhaps  the  best  example  in  Ross  of  a  really 
helpful  old  spelling,  which  must  take  precedence  of 
the  modern  Gaelic,  is  Inverasdale,  Inveraspidill 
1566,  &c.  ;  G.  Inbhir-asdal.  The  oldest  record 
forms  for  Ross  names  belong  to  the  first  half  of  the 
13th  century,  and  come  from  the  Register  of  Moray. 
Written  forms  antecedent  to  that  date  are  very  few. 
Ptolemy,  the  Alexandrian  geographer,  mentions  two 
names  of  places  which  seem  to  be  rightly  located  in 
Ross,  Volsas  Sinus,  for  which  cf.  Lochalsh,  and  High 
Bank,  identified  with  Norse  Ekkials-bakki,  modern 
Oykell.1  In  addition,  he  mentions  three  tribal  names, 
already  referred  to.  The  Carnonacae,  somewhere  on 
the  West  Coast,  are,  doubtless,  the  men  of  the 
Cairns,  or  of  the  Rough  Bounds,  and  we  may  com- 
pare the  modern  Carranaich,  the  Lochcarron  men. 
In  Easter  Ross  were  located  the  Decantae,  but  of 
their  name  no  trace  appears  subsequently.  So,  too, 

1  Tliis  identification  is  due  to  the  Rev.  Charles  M.  Robertson. 


with  the  Smertae,  who  may  have  dwelt  from  Kin- 
cardine northwards  in  the  valleys  of  the  Carron, 
Oykell,  and  Shin.  In  the  interval  of  over  a 
thousand  years  between  Ptolemy  and  the  record 
forms,  we  find  only  the  old  forms  of  Applecross, 
Lewis,  and  Ross  itself. 

Physical  (3)  As  the  names  of  places  are  usually  descrip- 
Character-  tive,  it  is  often  useful,  sometimes  necessary,  to  see 
the  place  itself.  It  is  only  by  inspection  and  com- 
parison that  one  learns,  for  instance,  to  differentiate 
between  the  numerous  words  for  hill,  or  to  dis- 
tinguish between  a  strath,  a  glen,  and  a  corry. 
Inspection  is  specially  useful  when  names  are 
applied  in  a  metaphorical  way,  from  likeness  to  some 
object,  e.g.,  Meall  an  Tuirc,  Boar-hill,  from  its 
striking  resemblance,  as  viewed  from  a  certain  point, 
to  a  boar.  Na  Rathanan,  the  pulleys,  require  to  be 
seen  to  be  appreciated.  Places  involving  obsolete 
names  such  as  eirbhe,  faithir,  seolaid,  eileag,  have 
to  be  studied  for  confirmation  of  the  meaning  pro- 
posed. This  applies  specially  to  Pictish  names  such 
as  Allan,  Alness,  Contin,  Aradie.  Orrin.  But  it  is 
well  to  bear  in  mind  that  no  amount  of  looking  at  a 
place  can  alter  the  phonetics  of  the  name,  and  that 
inspirations  derived  from  inspection  must  be  received 
with  caution. 

In  the  discussions  that  follow,  I  have  availed 
myself  wherever  it  has  been  possible  of  the  three- 
fold data  above  indicated.  In  particular,  the 
modern  Gaelic  forms,  which,  in  the  absence  of 
reliable  old  spellings,  must  be  regarded  as  by  far 


the  most  reliable  basis  of  interpretation,  have  been 
ascertained  with  accuracy  from  reliable  native 
sources.  In  addition,  advantage  has  been  taken 
largely  of  the  analogy  of  names  occurring  elsewhere  Analogy, 
which  are  wholly  or  partly  the  same  as  the  names 
under  discussion,  or  which  resemble  them  in  assign- 
able respects.  This  is,  of  course,  merely  the  method 
of  comparative  philology  applied  to  place-names. 
The  field  from  which  possible  analogies  may  be 
drawn  is  a  wide  one  ;  in  practice  it  will  be  found 
that  for  Gaelic  names  one  has  to  compare  names 
occurring  in  Scotland  and  Ireland  ;  the  pre-Gaelic 
or  Pictish  element  involves,  in  addition,  an  acquain- 
tance with  Welsh,  Cornish,  Old  British,  and  Gaulish 
names  ;  while  for  names  of  Norse  origin  the  best 
auxiliaries  are  the  names  that  occur  in  the  Sagas, 
and  especially  the  Landnama-bok. 


Gaelic  place-names  may  be  divided  into  four 
classes  according  as  they  are — (l)  simple  or  uncom- 
pounded  words  without  extension  ;  (2)  simple  words 
with  extension  ;  (3)  compounds  ;  (4)  phrases. 

(1)  Simple  words  without  extension,  e.g.,  crasg, 
a  crossing ;  magh,  a  plain  (Moy)  ;  sron,  a  nose  or 
point  (Strone).  The  names  belonging  to  this  class 
are  few,  and  present  no  difficulty. 

(2)  Simple  words  with  extension  or  extensions. 
This  class  is  so  important  as  to  demand  somewhat 
•extended  treatment. 


The  following  is  a  list  of  the  extensions  or  ter- 
minations added  on  to  primary  Gaelic  words  in  the 
names  of  Ross  :  -ach,  -adh,  -ag,  -an,  -ar,  -dan,  -I, 
-lack,  -lean,  -t(d)  or  -id. 

Combinations  of  two  of  the  ahove  are  ;  -ach  +  an, 
-ach  +  ar,  -ag  +  an,  -an  +  ach,  -ar  +  ach,  -ar  +  adh, 
-ar  +  an. 

Combinations  of  three  are  :  -ar  +  an  +  acli, 
-ach  +  ar  +  an,  -an  +  ach  +  an. 

-ach  (Gaulish  -dcus,  abounding  in  ;  -dcum,  place  of)  ; 
in  the  locative  case  it  appears  as  -aich  ;  the  most 
eommon  of  Gaelic  terminations. 

(a)  With  nouns  :  Crann-aich,  place  of  trees  ; 
Giuths-ach,  place  of  fir  ;  Carn-ach,  place  of  stones 
or  cairns  ;  Capl-aich,  place  of  horses  ;  Mias-ach, 
place  of  platters  ;  Soc-ach,  place  of  the  snout  ; 
Eilean-ach,  place  of  islands  ;  Glaodh-aich,  place 
of  mire ;  Av-och,  place  on  the  stream ; 
Sleagh-ach,  ?  spear-place  ;  Ceap-ach,  tillage  place. 

(6)  With  adjectives,  less  common  :  Breac-ach, 
dappled  place  ;  Ard-och,  high  place  ;  Dian-aich, 
steep  place  ;  Liath-ach,  grey  place  ;  Leithe-ach, 
half  place. 

In  old  Gaelic,  as  is  still  the  case  in  Irish,  the 
dative  or  locative,  and  also  the  genitive  case  of 
nouns  ending  in  -ach  was  formed  in  -aigh  (pro- 
nounced nearly  -ie),  and  this  old  formation  survives 
in  a  considerable  number  of  names.  On  the  west 
coast  we  have  Logie  (twice),  G.  an  Lagaidh  ;  Dornie 
(thrice),  G.  an  D6irnidh  (cf.  Dornoch,  an  accusative)^ 


both  used  with  the  article  as  nouns  feminine,  after 
the  model  of  nouns  in  -ach ;  e.g.,  Dun  na  Lagaidh, 
the  fort  of  Logie  ;  Ceannaiche  na  Doirnidh,  the 
merchant  of  Dornie,  as  compared  with  Ian  Dubh  na 
Carnaich,  &c.  The  other  west  coast  instances  are 
not  found  with  the  article,  viz.,  Duchary  (as  against 
an  Dubhctiroch  in  Loch  broom,  for  Dubh-chatharach)  ; 
Tolly  (twice)  ;  Arriecheirie,  G.  Airigh-che'iridh  ;  Ach- 
a-bhanaidh  ;  Coire-bhanaidh.  In  Easter  Ross  names 
with  this  ending  are  more  common,  and  they  never 
have  the  article.  The  following  occur  here  :  Logie, 
Tolly  (twice),  Pitkerrie  (G.  Baile-cheiridh  ;  cf. 
Airigh-cheiridh  above)  ;  Delny  ;  Muie-blairie  (cf. 
Blairich  in  Sutherland  ;  a  locative)  ;  Kinn-airdie 
(cf.  Ardoch)  ;  Drynie  (cf.  an  Draighneach)  ;  Learnie 
(cf.  Lernock  in  Stirlingshire)  ;  Comrie  ;  Garty  ; 
Dounie  ;  Tarvie  ;  Carn  Sgolbaidh  ;  Cambuscurrie 
(cf.  Cambuschurrich  on  Lochtay-side),  Haddery 
(cf.  na  Hadharaichean  in  Perthshire)  ;  Cartomie 
(cf.  Tomich)  ;  Culcraggie  ;  Culbokie  ;  Culvokie  ; 
Duchary  ;  Balaldie  ;  Cuil-challaidh  (Kilcoy) ;  Bealach 
Collaidh  ;  Creag  lucharaidh  ;  Balcony. 

The  above  seem  to  be  all  tolerably  certain  cases 
of  survival.  In  one  or  two  instances  the  usage 
varies  as  between  Gaelic  and  English  :  Pitglassie  is 
in  G.  Bad  a'  ghlasaich  ;  Glen  Docharty  is  G.  Gleann 
Dochartaich.  Here  the  Gaelic  forms  may  be  due  to  a 
process  of  levelling  up  to  the  modern  -aick  formation. 

In  some  other  cases,  especially  in  Easter  Ross, 
this  ending  seems  to  have  been  introduced  by 
analogy.  It  is  difficult  to  account  for  otherwise 


in  Pit-hoggarty,  Fluchlady,  Muiilochy.  Analogy 
may  also  account  for  Rhynie  and  Gany  (now  in 
plural  Geanies),  where  the  Gaelic  is  Rathan  and 
Gaan  or  Gathan. 

-aidh,  diminutive  :  Indistinguishable  in  sound  from 
the  above  is  the  diminutive  ending  -aidh  found 
chiefly  on  the  West  Coast.1  In  Easter  Ross  there 
are  Strathy  in  Rosskeen,  Creagaidh-thom  in 
Knockbain,  and  perhaps  Aldie  near  Tain.  On  the 
west  we  have  Lochaidh,  a  small  loch,  thrice  at 
least ;  Badaidh,  a  little  clump,  is  common ; 
Camasaidh,  a  little  bay  ;  Coiridh,  a  little  corry  ; 
Strathy,  a  little  strath.  In  the  spoken  language 
perhaps  the  best  instance  is  rudaidh  beag,  "  a 
wee  bittie  ;"  in  Sutherland  one  hears  beanaidh, 
wifie  ;  and  I  have  heard  eileanaidh  beag,  a  little 
islet.  This  is  an  ending  which  does  not  seem  to 
occur  in  Irish  names  of  places,  and  may  be  com- 
pared with  the  common  Scots  diminutive  seen  in 
"  wifie,"  "lassie,"  "Jamie,"  &c. 

-adh  :  this  termination  seems  to  occur  only  in  con- 
junction with  -ar,  as  -aradh. 

-ag  (Irish  -de),  now  the  diminutive  termination  for 
nouns  feminine,  but  in  the  old  language  added  to 
nouns  masculine  also. 

(a)  With   nouns  :    Breab-aig.    a   little   start ; 
Giag-aig,  a  little  noisy  one  ;  Fearn-aig,  the  little 
place  of  alder. 

(b)  With  adjectives  :  Leisg-eig,  the  little  lazy 
one,   a   well ;    Dubh-ag,  the  little  black   one,  a 

1  It  is  also  common  in  Sutherland. 



common  streamlet  name  ;  Cas-aig,  the  little  steep 
one,  a  rock. 

-an  (Ir.  -an  ;  Proto-Celtic  -agnos)  now  the  diminu- 
tive ending  for  nouns  masculine. 

(a)  With  nouns  :  Creag-an,  little  rock ;  Torr- 
an,  little  hillock  ;  Poll-an,  little  pool  or  hollow  ; 
Loch-an,  a  little  loch. 

(b)  With  adjectives  :  Arc-an,  the  little  black 
place ;    Riabhach-an,    the   little   brindled    place ; 
Garbh-an,  the  little  rough  place. 

(c)  It     is     common     in    a    collective    sense  : 
C6inneach-an,  place  of  moss  ;  Dobhr-an,  place  of 
water  ;  Olach-an,  place  of  stones  (stone  houses)  ; 
Eathan  (Rhyme),  place  of  raths,  or,  of  the  rath  ; 
Poll  a'  Mhuc-ainn,  pool,  or  hollow,  of  the  place  of 
swine  ;  Druineach-an,  place  of  ?  Druids. 

-or  (cf.  Gaulish  -aros),  rarely  used  alone.  Croch-ar, 
place  of  the  gallows  ;  Salach-ar,  place  of  willows. 

-dan,  the  diminutive  or  collective  termination  which 
Dr  Joyce  finds  in  Sailcheadain,  &c.,  is  probably 
seen  in  Ardoch-dainn  ;  possibly  in  Crumbauchtyn, 
the  old  form  of  Cromarty. 

-I  -II  (-lo-),  probably  in  Srath-Chromb-ail,  Poll- 

-loch  (Gaul.  Catu-slogi,  war- folk  ;  G.  sluagh) ;  a 
noun,  sunk  to  a  termination. 

(a)  With    nouns  :    Meagh-laich    (mang-lach), 
place  of  fawns  ;  Muc-lach,  place  of  pigs. 

(b)  With  adjectives  :  Breac-lach,  spotted  place  ; 
Garbh-lach,  rough  place;    Cuillich    (cuing-laich), 
narrow  place  ;  Fuara-lach,  cold  place. 


-lean  :  Reidh-lean,  a  little  plain  ;  Ceis-lein,  a  little 
sow  (hill  name).  Very  rare. 

t,  d  (-id),  found  in  Ireland  by  Dr  Joyce,  and  not 
uncommon  with  us.  Se61-aid,  place  of  (careful) 
sailing,  or  sailing  mark  ;  Allt  na  Lath-aid,  burn 
of  the  miry  place  ;  Rath-t  in  Ratagan,  from  rath, 
a  round  fort ;  Meith-eid,  Meddat ;  Blaad.  In 
Ireland  this  ending  is  specially  common  in  stream 
names  :  Duinn-id,  the  brown  stream,  is  the  only 
example  in  Ross. 

-ach  +  an :  a  combination  in  which  -an  usually  seems 
to  have  a  collective  force.  Gius-achan,  place  of 
fir ;  Duchan,  for  Dubh-ach-an,  black  place ; 
Doire-achan,  place  of  groves  ;  Cais-eachan,  place 
of  cheese ;  Achlorachan  ;  Fiacl-achan,  place  of 
teeth.  Na  Bothachan  (Boath)  and  na  Peit'chan 
are  plural  forms,  though  -an  has  in  both  the  open 

-ach  +  ar  :  Poll-ach-ar,  place  of  pools,  or  hollows. 

-ag  +  an:  in  form  a  double  diminutive,  seen  in  Irish 
also.  Coire  Mhail-eagan  (twice),  Rat-agan. 

-an  +  acli  :  a  well-attested  but  rather  uncommon 
combination.  Rath-anaich,  place  of  raths  ;  Cip- 
eanoch,  place  of  blocks ;  Frianach  for  Friamh- 
aiaach,  place  of  roots  ;  cf.  Baid-eanach  (Badenoch), 
drowned  place. 

-ar  +  ach:  with  adjective;  Ruadh-ar-ach  (Ruaroch), 
the  red  place. 

-ar  +  adh  :  Bog-aradh.  soft  place  ;  Fliuch-araidh, 
wet  place ;  possibly  Garbh-araidK,  rough  place  ; 
Loch  a'  Mhagraidh,  Loch  of  the  place  of  pawing 
(or,  of  toads). 


The  Gaelic  pronunciation  renders  the  first  of 
these  examples  certain.  The  others,  so  far  as 
sound  goes,  might  come  from  a  nominative  in 
-ach,  with  the  old  genitive  formation  in  -aigh. 

-ar+an :  Dos-muc-ar-an,  clump  of  the  place  of 
swine  ;  Garbh-ar-an,  rough  place. 

-ar+an+ach  :  Muc-ar-n-aich  (Muckernich),  place  of 
pigs  ;  common  ;  Beith-ear-n-aich,  place  of  birch  : 
Ceap-ar-n-aich,  place  of  blocks. 

•ach+ ar+an  :  Loch  Beann-ach-ar-an  ; 

-n-ach-an  :  Samh-n-ach-an. 

isidh,    seen    in    Camaisidh,    Caoilisidh,    Lianisidh, 
Cruaidhsidh ;    a    difficult    termination,    possibly 
Pictish.     It  does  not  seem  to  occur  in  Ireland. 
(3)  Compounds  : — 

(a)  Noun  with  noun  ;  an  uncommon  formation. 
Plucaird,  lump  promontory ;   Carnasgeir,    Cairn- 
skerry  ;    Eigintol,    difficulty  hole  ;    Mor'oich,  sea 
plain,  are  the  only  examples  met  in  Ross. 

(b)  Adjective  with  noun  :  a  much  more  com- 
mon    formation.        Fionn-alltan,    white     burns  ; 
Dugaraidh,    black    den  ;    Cam-allt,    bent    burn ; 
Gearr-choille,  short  wood  ;  Crom-loch,  bent  loch  ; 
Du-chary,  black  rough  ground  ;  Du-loch,  black- 
loch  ;  Seann-bhaile,  Oldtown,  and  others. 

(c)  Preposition  with  noun  :  Edderton,  between 
duns  :  Eddracharran  (New   Kelso),  between  two 
Carrons  ;    Coneas,    combined    falls  ;    Contullich, 
combined    hillocks  ;    Conchra,    combined     weirs ; 
Conachreig,   combination  of  rocks ;  Araird,  fore- 
promontory  ;   Ach-eadarsain ;    Urray  for    air-rath 
or  air-ath. 


(4)  Phrases,  of  which  the  component  parts  stand 
in  grammatical  relation  : — 

(a)  Without  the  article  ;  these  approximate  to 
compounds,  but  have  the  principal  accent  on  the 
second    syllable.      Beinn-damh,    Stag-hill ;    Suil- 
ba,  Cows'  eye  (a  well) ;  Acharn,  field  of  the  cairns, 
and  others. 

(b)  With   the   article  :    Carn  a'   Bhreabadair, 
the  weaver's  cairn  ;  Tobar  a'  Chlaidheimh  dhuibh, 
well  of  the  black  sword  ;  Sgurr  nan  Conbhairean, 
peak  of  the  dog-men.     This  is  a  class  too  common 
and   well    known    to   need    further    illustration. 
There  is,  however,  a  variety,  specially  common  OR 
the  West   Coast,  which   deserves  special  notice, 
where,  contrary  to  modern  usage,   the  article  is 
prefixed  :  an  L6n-roid,  the  meadow  of  bog-rnyrtle  ; 
am  Blar-borraich,   the   moor  of  rough  grass  ;  an 
t-Allt-giuthais,  the  fir-burn  ;  an  Camas-raintich, 
the  bracken  bay.     The  modern  Gaelic  formation 
would  be  L6n  na  roid,  &c.;  in  the  old  formation 
L6n-roid  is  treated  as  one  word. 

Periods  The   different   methods     of  formation    indicated 

represented.  above  mav  be  taken  roughly  to  represent  different 
stages  or  periods.  The  second  class  of  names,  com- 
prising those  formed  by  extensions  from  a  simple 
root,  must  have  been  given  at  a  period  when  the 
language  still  retained  its  power  of  using  those 
extensions  and  combinations  of  extensions  to  form 
fresh  names,  when,  in  other  words,  these  were  still 
living  and  active.  When  precisely  or  even  approxi- 
mately they  ceased  to  be  such  is  hard  to  say,  but  it 



is  significant  that  the  Gaelic  names  of  Lewis  and  of 
Skye  are  almost  wholly  of  the  fourth  class,  phrase 
names.  Compounds  like  Ben  Damh,  Poll-cas- 
gaibhre,  Suil-ba,  and  names  involving  prefixed 
adjectives,  nouns,  or  prepositions,  are  also  of  an 
antique  cast.  Phrase  names  are  not  necessarily 
modern,  for  they  are  well  in  evidence  in  the  Book  of 
Deer  (circ.  1085-1150),  but  as  a  rule  they  belong  to 
the  most  recent  stratum. 

The  formation  of  Gaelic  names  is  closely  con- 
nected with  questions  of  accent,  the  position  of 
general  and  qualifying  words,  and  the  usage  of  the 

In  modern  Gaelic  the  adjective  regularly  follows 
the  noun,  except  in  the  case  of  the  adjectives  deagh, 
good ;  droch,  bad ;  sar,  excellent ;  seann,  old,  which 
always  precede.  The  old  language  was  freer  in  this  Prefixed 
respect,  and  in  the  place-names  adjectives  are  prefixed  Adje?tlves 
which  modern  usage  would  place  after  their  nouns. 
The  number  of  such  is  small,  and  they  are  all  adjec- 
tives of  one  syllable  relating  to  colour  or  some 
other  physical  feature.  Among  the  adjectives  thus 
occasionally  prefixed  in  the  names  of  Ross  are  the 
following  : — dubh,  black  ;  ?  loch,  black  ;  fionn,  white  ; 
ruadh,  red  ;  Hath,  gray ;  glas,  green  ;  gorm,  blue  ; 
gearr,  short  ;  garbh,  rough  ;  crom,  bent  ;  cam, 
crooked  ;  meirbh,  slender  ;  geur;  sharp  ;  cruinn, 
round  ;  saobh,  false  (in  saothair)  ;  mor,  big. 

In  all  such  cases  the  principal  accent  falls  on  the 
adjective,  with  the  result  that  the  noun  following  it 
tends  to  be  pronounced  indistinctly,  e.g.,  Fuar-tholl 

xlii.         PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

becomes  Fuarthol  ;  Garbh-allt  becomes  Garbhalt. 
The  effect  is  most  apparent  when  the  noun  is  of 
more  than  one  syllable,  in  which  case  the  first 
syllable  of  it  is  apt  to  be  "jumped,"  e.g.,  Dugraidh 
for  Dubh-garaidh  ;  or  slurred,  e.g.,  Glaic  nan  Seann- 
innsean  is  pronounced  Glaic  na'  Seannisean  ;  so  also 
Bog  na  Seannan  is  probably  for  Bog  nan  Seann- 
athan  ;  Seann-tulaich  becomes  Seannt'laich. 

The  adjective  dubh,  when  placed  first,  is  some- 
times lengthened  to  du  by  the  stress  of  the  accent, 
as  in  Duloch,  Dug(a)raidh. 

Prefixed          Sometimes,  though  rarely,  the  prefixed  part  is  a 
Nouns  and  noun  use(^  as   an  adjective  (see  above   3   (a) ),    in 

-A.CC£HL.  9  i 

which  case  the  results  are  exactly  the  same  in 
respect  of  accent  and  effect  on  the  word  following. 
A  special  instance  of  this  formation  is  the  very  small 
class  of  names  represented  by  Maoil  Cheanndearg, 
a'  Chlach  CheanmT  for  ceann-dearg  and  ceann-liath 
respectively,  meaniDg  "  head-red  "  and  "  head-gray/' 
or  "  red,  gray  in  respect  of  the  head."  This  was  a 
favourite  type  of  combination  in  Irish,  and  is  seen  in 
Gaelic  in  caisionn  for  cas-fhionn,  foot- white,  speckled; 
earrgheal,  tail-white,  etc.,  and  in  the  common 
terrier  name  Busdubh,  muzzle-black. 

Prepositions  In  compounds  of  which  the  first  part  is  a  pre- 
nt'  position  the  principal  accent  falls  on  the  preposition, 
with  consequent  indistinctness  or  slurring  of  the 
second  part.  Thus  Con-tulaich  becomes  Cunnt'laich, 
Con-chra  is  Conachra;  Far-braoin  becomes  Fara- 
braoin.  When  the  preposition  eadar,  between,  is 
compounded  with  a  dissyllabic  noun,  there  are  two 


principal  accents,  one  on  preposition,  one  on  noun, 
and  eadar  itself  becomes  ead'r,  e.g.,  Eadar-dha- 
Charrann  becomes  Ead'ra-charrarm ;  Eadar-da- 
chaolas  becomes  Ead'ra-chaolas.  But  if  the  second 
part  is  a  monosyllable  the  accent  follows  the  usual 
rule,  e.g.,  Ettridge  in  Badenoch,  Gael.  Eadrais  for 
Eadar-da-eae,  between  two  falls  ;  cf.  Edderton. 

In  phrase  names  the  principal  accent  falls  on  the  Accent  in 

qualify  in  &  part,  whether  adjective  or   noun,  which  J>arase~ 

J     °   1  J  '  .:  vmes 

regularly  comes  after  the  generic  part.  In  con- 
sequence, the  first  part  sometimes  suffers,  while  the 
second  part  is  preserved  entire.  Thus  Achadh,  a 
field,  appears  as  achd  in  Achd-a-charn,  Achtercairn, 
and  many  other  names  ;  ach  in  Ach-na-seileach, 
Achnashellach  ;  acha  in  Acha-mor,  Achmore ;  while 
it  retains  its  full  form  in  Achadh -ghiiirain.  Perhaps 
the  best  example  is  afforded  by  the  treatment  of 
neimhidh,  church-land.  Dalnavie  is  in  Gaelic 
Dal-neimhidh  ;  so  also  Cnoc-navie  and  Inch-navie  ; 
here  the  strong  accent  has  preserved  the  second  part 
in  full.  But  when  neimhidh  comes  first,  as  the 
generic  part,  it  sinks  to  neo'  as  in  Neo'  na  Gill, 
Nonakiln  ;  an  Neo-mhor,  Newmore.  This  is, 
fortunately,  an  extreme  case. 

In  uncompounded  names  the  accent  is  always  on  Accent  in 
the    first    syllable,    as    in    Deilgnidh,     Delny  ;    a' 
Mhucarnaich,  Muckernich. 

The   usage  of  the  article  is  noteworthy.     As  a  The  Article, 
rule   it   is   used    with    Gaelic  nouns  wherever  the 
grammatical  structure  admits,  and  the  presence  of 
the  article  is  a  sure  sign  that  the  word  to  which  it 


is  prefixed  either  is  Gaelic  or  has  been  borrowed 
into  Gaelic,  and  become  naturalised  as  a  Gaelic 
word.1  In  English  we  speak  of  Torran,  Tullich, 
Boath ;  in  Gaelic  these  places  are  always  an  Torran, 
an  Tulaich,  na  Bothachan. 

The  absence  of  the  article,  however,  does  not 
necessarily  prove  a  name  to  be  non-Gaelic, 
though  it  does  raise  that  presumption.  Pictish 
names  never  have  the  article  ;  Norse  names  very 
seldom,  and  then  only  in  Lewis,  never  on  the 
mainland.  But  we  have  already  noted  above  an 
important  class  of  names,  chiefly  found  in  Easter 
Ross,  which  almost  consistently  reject  it,  though 
they  may  be  regarded  as  Gaelic.  The  exact  explan- 
ation of  this  curious  phenomenon  is  difficult ;  these 
names  were  apparently  regarded  as  in  some  way 
unfamiliar  or  foreign.  Perhaps  it  was  because  of 
their  retaining  the  old  locative  form,  though  this 
seems  hardly  an  adequate  reason.  Another  class 
seldom  found  with  the  article  consists  of  names  in 
-achan,  e.g.  Giusachan.  The  only  exception  met 
in  Ross  is  am  Fiadachan.  Apart  from  these  the 
principal  case  of  an  apparently  genuine  Gaelic 
name  without  the  article  is  Suddy,  G.  Suidhe, 
seat,  see. 

1  This  perhaps  requires  some  qualification  in  view  of  the  usage  of  the 
article  with  names  of  countries.  Here  it  is  sometimes  capricious.  Ireland  is 
Eirin  ;  Scotland,  Alba  ;  in  Ireland^is  "  Ann  an  Eirinn  ;"  in  Scotland,  "  Ann  an 
Alba  ;"  yet  the  article  appears  with  the  genitive  ;  "  Coig  coigimh  na 
h-Eirinn  ;"  "  Righrean  na  h-Alba  ;"  yet  Brag  had  Albainn,  Breadalbane. 
Rome,  Italy,  Spain,  Germany,  Holland,  Greece,  Egypt,  Europe,  Asia  have  the 
article  in  Gaelic — an  R6imh,  an  Eadailt,  £c.  But  Scandinavia  is  Lochlann. 


Finally  in  this  connexion  we  may  note  that  Case, 
place-names  seldom  (if  ever)  appear  in  the  nomin- 
ative case.  They  are  usually  in  the  dative  or 
locative,  the  reason  being  that  this  was  the  case  in 
most  common  use  after  a  preposition ;  there  was 
seldom  occasion  to  use  the  nominative,  for  a  place- 
name  rarely  forms  the  subject  of  a  sentence.  Thus 
we  get  Tullich,  Cill-duinn  (Kildun),  Cinn-deis, 
where  Cill-duinn,1  is  dative  of  Ceall-dhonn,  Cinn  of 
Ceann,  and  so  on.  Not  unfrequently  a  name 
appears  in  the  accusative,  as  would  arise  in  cases 
where  the  custom  was  to  speak  of  "  to  such  a  place."2 
Thus  we  have  Tulloch,  Dornoch,  Ardoch,  a'  Chip- 
eanoch,  Ceann-a-ruigh  (Kinrive),  and  others,  all 


The  Picts  of  Alba3  are  sometimes  called  by  the  Terms  used 
Irish  writers   Cruithnig  arid  Cruithne,  genitive  pi.  *°-^e^?,te 
Cruithnech,     dative     Cruithniu,     and     their    land 
appears  as  Cruithen-tuaith.      From  this  form  pro- 
bably  come    such    names    of   places   as   an   Carnan 
Cruithneachd  in  Kintail,  Airigh  nan  Cruithneachd 
in  Applecross  and  near  Scourie    (Sutherland),  and 
Cruithneachan  in  Lochaber. 

More  often  they  are  called  in  the  Irish  Chronicles 
Picti,  Pictores,  Pictones,  rendered  into  Irish  by 
Piccardai  or  Picardaig,  genitive  pi.  Piccardach, 
dative  Picardachaib.  Their  country  is  Pictavia. 
In  Latin  also  they  are  Picti.  There  were  Pictones, 

1  Cf.  An  Candidam  Casam,  the  old  Latin  form  of  Whithorn 
2  Cf .  Stamboul  for  eis  rrjv  TrdAti/. 
3  The  Picts  of  Erin  (immigrants  thither)  are  always  Cruithne. 

xlvi.         PLACE-NAMEB   OF   ROSS   AND    OROMARTY. 

later    Pictavi,    in    Aquitanian    Gaul,  whose   capital 
was  Pictava. 

The  old  Norse  word  for  a  Pict  is  Pettr,  and  the 
Norsemen  called  the  channel  between  Caithness  and 
Orkney  (in  G.  an  Gaol  Arcach)  Pettlands-fjonSr, 
now  corrupted  into  Pentland  Firth.  In  Shetland 
there  still  survive  names  such  as  Petta  water, 
Pettidale,  Pettasmog,  Pettigarthsfell.1 

In  a  charter  of  Alexander  II.  granted  to  the 
Monastery  of  Kinloss  in  1221  appears  the  phrase 
"  ad  Rune  Pictorum,"  glossed  "  Hune  Pictorum,  the 
carne  of  the  Pethis  or  the  Pechts  feildis  "  (rune  =  G. 
raon).  This  gloss  shows  the  old  Scottish  form  of 
the  name. 

Modern  philologists  derive  Cruithne  from  the 
root  seen  in  G.  cruth,  a  shape,  "the  pictured, 
tattoed  men."  The  Welsh  equivalent  of  cruth  is 
pryd,  and  as  the  Welsh  name  for  Britain  and  for  Pict 
is  Prydain,2  this  makes  it  probable  that  the  name 
Britain  is  derived  from  the  Brit  tonic  form  of  Cruithne, 
and  means  the  land  of  the  Picts.3  The  name  Pict 
itself,  in  view  of  the  Gaulish  Pictones  or  Pictavi, 
cannot  be  connected  with  the  Latin  pictus,  painted. 
It  was  evidently  the  name  by  which  the  northern 
Picts  were  known  to  the  Norsemen,  and  by  which  they 
doubtless  called  themselves.  The  initial  p  indicates 
Cymric  affinities,  and  the  word  has  been  equated 
with  Ir.  cicht,  engraver,  carver,  thus  again  leading 
to  the  notion  of  tattooing. 

1  J.  Jakobsen  Dialect  and  Place-names  of  Shetland. 

2  The    best    and    oldest    forms    of    Britain    show  p,   Gr.   IIp€TTavot, 

our  form  is  from  the  Latin  Britannia. 
3  See  further  A.  Macbain's  Etym.  Gad.  Diet.,  p.  353. 


Linguistic  evidence  goes  to  show  that  the  Pictish  P  and  Q 
language  was  Celtic,  and  belonged  to  the  Cymric 
branch  represented  now  by  Welsh  and  Breton,  and 
until  recent  times  by  Cornish.  One  outstanding 
difference  between  the  Brittonic  and  Gadelic 
branches  of  Celtic  is  their  treatment  of  the 
primitive  Indo-Germanic  qu  sound.  In  Gaelic  and 
Irish  this  primitive  qu  invariably  becomes  c  hard  ; 
in  Welsh,  Breton,  and  Cornish  it  is  represented  by 
p.  Thus  a  primitive  maquo-s,  son,  becomes  Gael. 
mac,  Old  Welsh  map.  As  for  the  primitive  p 
sound,  it  never  appears  in  Gaelic.  Initially  and 
between  vowels  it  has  dropped  entirely,  e.g.,  Lat. 
pater,  piscis  as  against  G.  athair,  iasg.  Elsewhere 
it  is  not  wholly  lost,  but  leaves  some  trace  either  by 
way  of  compensatory  lengthening  or  by  a  new  com- 
bination.1 It  follows  that  no  genuine  Gaelic  word 
contains  a  p,  except  as  the  result  of  some  late  com- 
bination of  consonants. 

Initial  p  is  seen  in  the  names  involving  Pit,2  to  Non-Gaelic 
be  compared  with   Welsh  peth,  a  part,  Gael,  cuid,  j 
a  share  portion,  O.  Ir.  cuit,  English  piece ;  in  Book 
of  Deer  pett.     For  the  usage  we  may  compare  dal, 
a  share,    lot,  in   Dal-riada.     Tiie   Pictish  pett  was 
borrowed  by  Gaelic,  and  treated  as  a  Gaelic  word, 
e.g.,   na    Peit'chan,   the    places    of  Pits  ;   Petty,  G. 
Peitidh,  a  locative  of  Peiteach,  place  of  Pits.     For 
reasons  that  will  occur  to  Gaelic  scholars,  Gaels  have 
usually  translated  it,  most  frequently  into  baile,   a 

1  For  examples,  cf.  A.  Macbain's  Etym.  Gael.  Diet.,  xxxv. 
2  v.  Index. 

xlviit.        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

stead,  e.g.,  Pitkerrie,  G.  Baile-cheiridh  ;  sometimes 
into  innis,  a  meadow,  e.g.,  Innis-fiur,  formerly  Pit- 
fuir,  or  bad,  a  clump,  e.g.,  Pitglassie,  G.  Bad  a' 
ghlasaich.  Sometimes  it  is  left  untranslated,  as  in 
the  Black  Isle  Pitfuir,  G.  Pit-uir  ;  Pitmaduthy, 
G.  Pit-'ic  Dhuibh,  also  Baile-'ic-Dhuibh.  The  Pits 
are  mostly  confined  to  Easter  Ross,  where  Pictish 
influence  was  most  lasting,  but  Peitneane  appears  on 
record  in  Lochcarron,  and  Pitalmit  in  Glenelg. 
Other  names  with  initial  p  are  Peffer,  Porin,  Loch 
Prille,  Peallaig,  and  those  involving  preas. 
ii.  Various.  In  addition  to  these  p  names,  which  are  obviously 
non -Gaelic,  the  following  are  non  -Gaelic  either  in 
whole  or  in  part : — 

Achilty  (2)  Drumderfit  Monar 

Achterneed  Fannich  Navity 

Allan  (4)  Fodderty  Oykell 

Alness  Kinnettes  Pitcalnie 

Balkeith  Kincardine  Tarlogie 

Blairwhyte  Lochalsh  Udais 

Contin  Lundy  (3)  Urquhart 

Dallas  Multovy 

With  the  exception  of  Lochalsh  and  that  Lundy  and 
perhaps  Achilty  are  repeated  on  the  West  Coast, 
...  <\  all  the  above  occur  in  Easter  and  Mid  Ross.  The 
explanation  of  Multovy  offered  in  the  text  requires 
qualification  ;  the  termination  is  better  compared 
with  the  Old  Welsh  suffix  -ma1  (Ir.  mag,  a  plain), 
the  whole  representing  a  primitive  Moltomagos, 
Wedder-plain.  Lo  with  Mucovie,  Migovie,  Inver- 

1  Zeuss  Gramm.  Celt.  4,  890. 


ness,    and    probably   Rinavie,    G.    Roinnibhidh    in 

It  will  be  observed  that  Balkeith,  Blairwhyte, 
Kiunettes,  and  Kincardine  are  hybrids,  i.e.,  part 
Gaelic,  part  Pictish.  The  change  from  Pit  into 
Baile  has  been  already  noted.  That  Pictish  pen, 
head,  has  been  translated  into  Gael,  cinn  is  proved 
by  names  such  as  Kinneil  and  Kirkintilloch  of  old 
Pen-fahel  and  Caer  Pen-taloch  respectively.  On 
this  analogy  we  should  have  had  also  at  one  time 
Pencardine,  Penettes.  Blairwhyte  is  different ;  it 
means  the  Blair  (moor)  of  Whyte,  just  as  we  say 
the  Moor  of  Rannoch. 

The  non-Gaelic  termination  -ais  (open  a),  found  Termina- 
only  on  Pictish  ground,  and  referred  to  a  proto- 
Celtic  vostis,  a  dwelling,  appears  in  Alness,  G. 
Alanais  ;  Dallas,  G.  Dalais  ;  Farness,  G.  Fearnais  ; 
Kinnettes,  G.  Cinn-it-'ais  or  Cinn-iteais ;  Cnoc- 
udais.  The  most  northerly  instance  known  to  me  is 
Altas,  G.  Alltais,  in  Sutherland  ;  elsewhere  it 
appears  in  Forres,  G.  Farais  ;  Geddes,  G.  Geadais. 

Another  termination  occurring  only  in  Pictland  -tidh. 
is  seen  in  Navity,  G.  Neamhaitidh  or  Neamhaididh 
(from     neimhidh,      Gaulish     nemeton),     Fodderty, 
Buchanty  (as  against  Buchan)  and  others. 

Stream  names  are  usually  old,  and  probably  most  iii.  Stream 
Ross -shire  streams  of  any  consequence  possess  names   Names- 
imposed  in  Pictish  times.     This,  of  course,  applies 
only  to  the  mainland  ;  the  names  of  Lewis  streams, 
when  they  are  not  Norse,  are  unmistakably  Gaelic 
and  modern.     The  majority  of  the  mainland  streams 




— apart  from  mere  burns,  which  are  usually  pure 
Gaelic — admit  of  being  classified  by  terminations, 
one  class,  numerically  small  but  comprising  the 
most  important  rivers,  ending  in  -n,  the  other  much 
larger,  consisting  of  relatively  secondary  streams, 
ending  in  -ie. 

(a)  in  -n.         The  -n  group  includes  the  two  Carrons,  Conon, 
Gaul.  -ona.  Qrrin?  Crossan,  all  of  which  in  the  text  have  been 

treated  as  showing  the  Gaulish  river  ending  -ona, 
-onna,  -ana,  as  in  Matrona,  Saogonna,  Sequana. 
.--To  them  should  probably  be  added  Averon  and 
Daan.1  With  these  may  be  compared  the  Don, 
G.  Dian,  proto-Celtic  Divona  ;  Almond  from  Ambona 
(Gaulish  ambis,  river)  ;  Spean,  Spesona,  from  root- 
as  in  Spey  cognate  with  Ir.  sceim,  vomo. 

(b)  in  -idh.        To  the  -ie  group  belong  the  following  : — 


-iam  Allt  Gowrie    Wl  Grudie  (2) 

-eta.  Allt  Rapaidh  H,(^  Inver-breakie 

Aradie  Inver-many 

*    Ard-essie         .   ;.  Inver-markie 

Balgaidh  Inver-riavenie 

Coire-bhacaidh  Loch-calvie 

Coire-chrubaidh  Polly 

Coire  Liridh  llaonaidh 

Eathie  (2)  Rogie 

Glen-calvie  Uarie  (Strathrory) 

Glen-marxie  Ussie 

One  or  two  of  these,  e.g.,  Breakie  and  perhaps 
Bacaidh,  may  be  regarded  as  diminutives  of  Gaelic 
origin  ;  cf.  p.  xxxvi.  sup.  The  majority,  however, 

'  At  p.  26  Daaii  is  treated  as  a  place-name.  I  have  since  found  that  the 
littl*  glen  through  which  the  stream  passes  near  its  source  is  called  Gleann. 
Da'an,  thus  suggesting  Daao  to  be  a  stream  name. 


seem  to  be  of  very  old  type,  showing  the  termination 
-ios  seen  in  Ptolemy's  Libn-ios,  Tob-ios.  Nov-ios, 
or  perhaps  rather  -id,  common  in  Gaulish  rivers. 
The  Gaulish  ending  -eta  is  also  possible.1  The 
geographical  distribution  of  these  -ie  stream  names 
points  to  a  Pictish  origin  or  strong  Pictish  influence. 
Few  or  none  are  found  in  Dalriada,  the  oldest 
Gaelic  settlement.  Of  the  above  list  nine  are  in 
Wester  Ross  as  against  fifteen  in  the  eastern  parts. 
In  Sutherland,  where  Norse  influence  was  strong, 
fewer  are  found  ;  there  are,  however,  two  Grudies. 
But  their  great  habitat  is  east  of  Drumalban  in  the 
central  Highlands,  where  Gaelic  came  latest ;  e.g.. 
Feshie,  Tromie,  Mashie,  Markie,  Geldie,  Nethy. 

There  remain  some  stream  names  which  fall  (c)  Various, 
under  neither  of  the  above  categories,  viz.,  Goran, 
G.  Corainn,  older  Gonrainn ;  Meig,  G.  Mig  ;  Sheil, 
G.  Seile,  Adamnan's  Sale  ;  Dourag,  G.  Dobhrag,  \  ^p*  fjfc 
from  dobur,  water.  The  first  two  are  difficult 
names,  of  which  the  explanations  given  must  be 
regarded  as  tentative  ;  in  any  case  they  are  obviously 
pre-Gaelic.  The  river  Ewe,  G.  lu,  I  have  taken, 
with  hesitation,  from  Ir.  eo,  yew  tree  ;  the  fact  that 
Tobar  na  h-Iu  in  Nigg  shows  the  article  is  practically 
decisive  in  favour  of  iu  being  there  at  least  a  Gaelic 
word.  No  Pictish  name  is  accompanied  by  the 
Gaelic  article.  But  the  river  Ewe  may  be  a  Pictish 
name  from  the  same  root,  or  from  a  totally  different 

1  Gaulish   Albeta,    White     river  ;    Gabreta,    Goat-wood  ;     cf.     Cowrie  ; 
"  flumen  Gobriat  in  Pictayia." 


foter.       Of  prefixes  usually  regarded   as  Pietish,   there 
10  occur  in  Ross  foter,  in  Fodderty  ;  and  uachdar,  in 
Achterneed,  Achterflo,  Achtertyre.     The  former  is 
undoubtedly    Pietish ;    the    latter    is    good    Irish, 
though  in  point  of  fact  in  Scotland  it  is  confined  to 
Pietish  ground,   and  may  therefore  be  of  Pietish 
origin.     To  these  may  probably  be  added  the  pre- 
air.  positions  ur,  Gaelic  air,   Gaulish    are,  as  seen   in 
lir-  Urray,  G.  Urra',  on  the  Ford  (ath),  or  possibly  near 
the  Fort  (rath).     The  ur  of  Urquhart  is  certainly 

In  view  of  the  number  of  Boss* shire  rivers  of 
fair  size,  it  is  remarkable  that  we  can  show  only  one 
abair.  Aber,  and  that  in  a  corrupt  form,  Apple-cross. 
This  may  be  ascribed  partly  to  strong  Norse 
influence  on  the  coast,  partly  to  the  Gaelic  habit  of 
translating  abair  into  inbhir.  To  Norse  influence 
may  be  due  the  singular  circumstance  that  no 
important  stream  flowing  into  the  Cromarty  Firth 
has  either  abair  or  inbhir  at  its  mouth  ;  translation 
accounts  for  Invercarron,  Inveraithie. 

In  dealing  with  the  Pietish  element  in  detail,  the 
following  Welsh  words  have  been  compared  in  the 
text : — 

arqf,  slow  :  Aradie,  Inver-arity  :  Gaul.  Arar,  Arabus. 
cardden,  brake  or  thicket :  Kin-cardine,  Ur-quhart. 
dot,  plateau  :  Dallas,  Dal-keith  ;  dol-men. 
-  gwaneg,  a  wave  :  Loch  Fannich.    -v^   \\.\, 
gwydd,  wood  :  Bal-keith. 
nant,  valley  :  Achter-need. 

pawr,  pasture  :  Porin  ;  Inch-f uir  ;  Pit-f uir  ;  Bal-f our ;  Doch- 


pefr,  bright :  Strath-peffer. 

peth,  portion  :  Pit-calnie,  Pit-kerrie,  &c. 

prill,  streamlet :  Loch  Prill.     3  « 

MM,  moor:  Ross. 

tal,  forehead :  Tarlogie. 

uchel,  high  :  Achilty,  Oykel ;  Ochil ;  Ochil-tree. 

ud,  a  yell,  blast :  Cnoc-udais. 

To  these  should  be  added  the  word  preas, 
borrowed  from  Pictish  into  Gaelic ;  cf.  W.  prys. 
In  modern  Gaelic  preas  means  "  bush  ;"  in  place- 
names,  however,  it  has  rather  the  meaning  of 
"  clump "  or  "  thicket,"  which  echoes  the  Welsh 
prys>  brushwood,  covert. 

In  the  above  there  is  a  distinct  Brittonic  element, 
which  cannot  be  referred  to  Gaelic.  Many  other 
names  show  roots  common  to  both  branches,  and  are 
therefore  difficult  to  classify.  Thus  Delny,  G. 
Deilgnidh,  might  be  referred  to  G.  dealg  or  Cornish 
dele ;  Lainn  a'  Choirc,  Oat -flat,  may  show  the  rare 
G.  lann  or  the  common  Welsh  llan. 


While  the  list  of  Norse  names  given  in  the  text 
may  be  regarded  as  exhaustive  for  the  mainland 
part  of  the  county,  it  is  not  so  in  respect  of  Lewis. 

Lewis  and  Harris  are  more  Norse  in  nomen- 
clature than  any  other  part  of  Scotland,  and  it 
would  be  possible  from  Lewis  alone  to  add  a 
thousand  names,  more  or  less.  The  great  majority 
of  Lewis  names  are  wonderfully  well  preserved,  and 

liv.          PLACE-NAMESfiOF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

once  the  Gaelic  pronunciation  is  heard,  present 
little  difficulty.  But  there  also,  as  on  the  mainland, 
there  is  a  residue  difficult  of  explanation,  to  some 
extent  no  doubt  involving  old  Norse  words  current 
in  common  speech,  but  not  preserved  in  Icelandic 

Bolstadr.  On  the  mainland  the  distribution  of  the  term 
bolstaftr  is  analogous  to  that  of  G.  baile.  No  name 
involving  bolstaSr  is  found  on  the  West  Coast ;  on 
the  east  there  are  Arboll,  Cadboll,  Carbisdell,  and 
Culbo.  On  the  other  hand,  we  have  a  parallel  to 
erg.  the  distribution  of  G.  achadh  in  the  Norse  erg 
shieling  (borrowed  at  an  early  stage  from  G.  airigh  ; 
O.  Ir.  airge),  which  appears  on  the  west  in  Smirsary, 
Kernsary,  Blaghasary,  Aundrary,  but  is  not  found 
in  the  east. 

Composition  The  composition  of  Norse  names  differs  from  that 
of  Non  o£  Qaelic  names,  in  that  the  specific  or  qualifying 
part,  which  in  Gaelic  comes  after  the  generic  term, 
is  in  Norse  invariably  prefixed  to  it.  Thus  N. 
dalr,  a  dale,  comes  at  the  end  of  names,  after  the 
descriptive  epithet,  e.g.,  Slattadale,  Attadale,  Scama- 
dale.  G.  dal,  a  dale,  regularly  stands  first,  e.g., 
Dalmore,  Dalbreck,  Dalnacloich.  In  this  respect 
Norse  resembles  English  ;  Gaelic  resembles  Latin. 
The  accent  in  Norse  names,  as  in  Gaelic  names,  falls 
on  the  qualifying  part,  that  is,  in  this  case,  on  the 
first  syllable. 

Quantity         In  Norse  names  transmitted  through  Gaelic  the 

°\f  KI*      quantity  of  the  first  syllable — which  is  the  important 

one — can  always  be  ascertained  from  native  Gaelic 


pronunciation.  The  quantity  of  the  following 
unaccented  syllable  or  syllables  (i.e.,  of  the  generic 
part)  is  lost ;  long  vowels  are  shortened,  e.g.,  vik, 
bay,  terminally  becomes  -aig.  Further,  in  the  case 
of  polysyllabic  names,  or  in  the  case  of  compounds 
consisting  of  three  words — triple-barrelled — there 
is,  under  certain  circumstances,  a  tendency  to 
"telescope,"  i.e.,  to  slur  or  even  wholly  jump  the  Oasis, 
middle  part  of  the  name.  Thus  Askary  in  Caith- 
ness is  historically  known  to  represent  Asgrims- 
ergin,  Asgrim's  Shielings ;  the  old  spelling  of 
Inver-asdale  is  Inver-aspedell,  G.  Inbhir-asdal. 
This  affects  only  a  small  number  of  names,  but 
where  it  has  taken  place  there  must,  in  the  absence 
of  record  forms,  be  considerable  uncertainty  in 
restoring  the  part  suppressed.  Apart  from  this, 
the  modern  Gaelic  pronunciation  is  extremely  con- 
servative in  resisting  corruption.  A  good  example 
is  Skibberscross  in  Sutherland,  G.  Siobarscaig;  in 
1360,  Sibyrs(k)oc  ;  1562,  Syborskeg,  Schiberskek. 

The  hybrids  that  occur  between  Norse  and  Norse-Gaeli« 
Gaelic  are  of  a  nature  easily  intelligible.  Examples 
are  Inver-kirkaig,  Glen-dibidale,  Strath-rusdale, 
Ard-shieldaig,  Eilean  Thannara.  Here  the  Gaels 
accepted  the  legacy  of  the  Norsemen,  and  finding 
such  names  as  Kirkaig,  Dibidale,  &c.,  added  on 
further  Gaelic  descriptive  terms  as  they  found 
occasion.  The  result  is  frequently  unconscious 
tautology,  as  in  Glen-dibidale,  Glen-deepdale ; 
Strathrusdale,  Strath-ram's-dale  ;  Ard-shilldinish, 
Cape  of  herring-cape,  and  so  on.  What  is  not  found 


is  the  conscious  blending  of  Gaelic  and  Norse,  e.y.r 
it  would  be  wholly  impossible  to  find  Norse  a,  river, 
bolstaftr,  stead,  dalr,  dale,  ey,  island,  viJc,  bay, 
qualified  by  a  Gaelic  adjective  or  noun.  What  we 
do  find  is  the  full-fledged  Norse  name  further 
described  by  a  Gaelic  epithet  or  generic  term,  often 
unconsciously  pleonastic.  This  is  exactly  parallel 
to  the  usage  as  between  English  and  Celtic,  e.g., 
the  Kiver  Avon,  the  Moor  of  Eannoch,  the  Strath- 
peifer  Valley.  There  is,  however,  a  very  small  class 
of  names  where  the  Norse  fjcdl,  hill,  has  been 
translated  into  Gaelic  beinn ;  the  instances  known 
being  Goatfell,  G.  Gaota-bheinn,  Goathill ;  Blaven, 
G.  Blabheinn,  Blue-fell;  Sulven,  G.  Suil-bheinn, 
Pillar-fell,  and  Badhais-bheinn  in  Gairloch.  These 
must  be  regarded  as  the  exceptions  that  prove  the 
rule.  Many  Norse  terms,  of  course,  have  been 
borrowed  by  Gaelic,  the  outward  and  visible  sign 
of  annexation  being  the  prefixing  of  the  definite 
article.  On  the  mainland  one  of  the  names  so 
borrowed  was  apparently  tafta,  an  in-field,  of 
which  we  have  a  plural  diminutive  in  Taagan, 
G.  na  Tathagan ;  the  singular  nominative  is  shewn 
in  Fear  nan  Tathag  (the  genitive  plural  being  in 
Gaelic  identical  with  the  nominative  singular).  In 
Lewis  ordinary  Norse  names  are  sometimes  found 
with  the  article,  e.g.,  Cnoc  a  Mhiasaid :  the 
inference  is  that  there  the  meaning  of  these  Norse 
names  continued  to  be  understood  down  to  a  late 


Eeliable  interpretation  of  Norse  names  as  pre-  Norse-Gaelic 
served    in    Gaelic  depends  on   an  investigation   of  I>IlonetlC8- 
Norse-Gaelic  phonetics.     A  complete  account  of  the 
interchanges  between  Norse  and  Gaelic  has  never 
so  far  been  attempted,  and  that  subjoined  must  be 
regarded  as  subject  to  amplification  and  alteration 
On  subsequent  enquiry.     In  the  main  I  hope  it  is 


Norse.    Gaelic. 

a         a  bakki,  bac  ;  stafrr,  stadh  ;  stafr,  Staffa. 

a         a  a,    amat ;    mar,    Masgeir ;    skari,    Scarista ;    gas, 

Gasacleit ;  grar,  Gradail ;  gja,  geodh,  geodha. 
e         e,  ea     klettr,  cleit ;   hesl,  Ard-heslaig  ;    hestr,  Hestaval ; 

melr,    Mealabhaig  ;     ger^i,    gearraidh  ;      hellir, 


e         e  slettr,  Sleiteadal. 

i         i  gil,  gil ;  fit,  fid ;  skip,  sgioba  ;   rif,   Biof ;  tirnbr, 

Teamradal.     Final  i  is  dropped  :  bakki,  skiki. 
i         i  hris,    Risadal ;     sild,     Sildeag ;    iss,    \slivig ;    I'm, 

Linish ;  gnipa,  Gniba  ;  griss,  Grisamal. 
o         o  hross,  Rosay  ;  kollr,  Colabol ;  oruir,  Ormiscaig, 

6  6  L611,  toll ;  h6p,  ob  ;  6ss,  os  ;  stj6rn,  Stebrnabhadh  • 

h61mr,  Tolm  (-tuilm). 
u        u          kuml,  Traigh  Chumil ;   hund,  Hundagro;  tunga, 

Tungavat ;  hlunnr,  lunn. 
u         u  hriitr,  Srath-rusdail;  hiis,  Husabost',  siili,  Sulbheinn; 

miili,  mii^  (also  maoil). 

7  i  myrkr,  Mircabat ;  kyrr,   Kirivick  ;  hryssa,  Riwil ; 

byr^iiigr,  birlinn. 
y         iu         dy'r,  Diurinish. 

y'r,  Z7ac?a/. 

se        ei          green,  Greinatot. 
o         o          mol,  ?7io/ ;  stu^,  s^o^A  ;  orfiris-ey,  Orasay. 


Norse.    Gaelic, 

au       6  straumr,     Strom, ;     haugr,    Tbgh  :     sautfr,    Soay ; 

hraun,  Rbna. 
ei        ao         geit,  Gaota-bheinn  ;  eifr,  uidk(aoidh). 

ei          breidr,  Breidhvat ;  belt,  beid ;  steinn,  Steinn. 
ey       ao        reynis-a,  Raonasa  (Ranza)  ;  dreyr-rik,  Draoraig. 
ei         reyiT,  Reireig. 

eu        ey-fjord^r,     Euord ;      ey-fjall,    Euval ;      ey-fjorfrr, 

but,  eyland,  eilean. 
ja  tjorn   gen.    tjarnar,   (Loch  an)    tighearna  ',   hjortr 

gen.  hjartar,  Thartabhat. 
ja  gja,  geodh,  geodha. 

J6       eo          Lj6tr,     Mac-Leoid;     flj6t,      Srath-Flebid     (Strath 

Fleet) ;  but,  grj6t-a,  Gride. 

kv      cu         kvi,     Cuidhshader  ;      svord'r,    Suardal  ;      sveinn, 
sv       su  Suainabost. 

Kvaran,  Cuaran. 

hv      f  hvar  es,far-asl  (where  is1?);  hvitr,  fiuit.2 

bh,  v    hvalr,  Valasay. 
ch          hvammr,  Chamasord. 

Consonants  (N on- Initial). 

Norfee.    Gaelic. 

k  g  skip,  sgioba ;  thorskr,  trosg  •  vik,  -aig ;  skiki, 
-sgaig  (-scaig)  ;  skata,  sgat,  sgait ;  sker,  sgeir.  After 
a  consonant  remains  c:  myrkr,  Mirckabat ;  but 
Arkb61,  ^rfco?. 

kk  c  stokkr,  Stocanish ;  bakki,  iac ;  stakkr,  stac ; 

bekkr,  Becamir. 

g  gh  haugr,  Tbgh;  hagi,  Tao'udal  (Taghadal) ;  vagr» 
-bhaigh;  Sigurtf-haugr  =  Siwardkoch  1160;  fugl, 
Fulasgeir.  But  «,^r  stands  :  Tungavat,  Stangarey. 

gg       g          Skeggi,  Sgiogarsta  ;  egg,  Aignish,  eig. 

1  TFar  o/  t^e  tfaeZ  and  the  GaU,  p.  174. 

2  Book  of  Leinster,  172a  7  ;  205b  48.    Tc»  these  may  b«  added  Hritern 
(Whi  thorn),  Futernc,  evideatly  a  Gaelic  form. 


Norse.    Gaelic. 

t          d,  t      fit,    jid ;    belt,    beid  \    grjot,   Gride ;    setr,    Siadar 

(Shader) ;    flatr,    Plaid ;    holt,    Nead-alt  •     hrutr, 

ruta.     tn  final  becomes  t :  -vatn,  -bhat ;  t  before  6* 

is  dropped ;  hriitsdalr,  Rasdal ;  after  a  consonant 

remains  t. 
tt        t          klettr,  chit ;  sle'ttr,  Sleit  :  skattr,  Scatail  (Sgatail)  ; 

brattr,  Brataig,  Bratanish. 
p         b          gnipa,  Griba  ;  hop,  bb,  Oban  ;  Pap-ey,  Paba.     But 

pt  becomes  bht,  topt,  tobhta. 
pp       p          kleppr,  Cleipisgeir ;  kappi,  Capadal. 
&         th,dh  breidr,      Breidhvat  ;      hladU,      Lathamur  ;      tada, 

Tathag  ;     saiicTa-ey,    Sba ;    stad'r,    -sta(th)  ;    sto'fr, 

Stoth.     For  -rft-  in  the  body  of  a  word,  cf.  gerfri, 

gearraidh  ;     -r&    final    becomes    -rd,    -rt,    fjord'r, 

Slpkort,  Ckamasord. 
d         d          hund,  Hundagro  •  -nd  final  becomes  -id  in  Miasaid 

for   mj6-sund ;    remains    in   Assynt   for  ass-endi ; 

elsewhere  remains  ;  sandr,  Sandabhaig. 
dd       d  oddi,  Toddin  (the  point). 

1          1  melr,  Mealabhaig  ;    but  Is  becomes  s  ;  hals,  Thais. 

m        n  hamarr,  Puthar-hamar  •  timbr,  Teamradail. 

ormr,  Ormiscaig. 
n         n          always  except  in  terminal  -nd,  which  is  sometimes 

-id ;  gn  initial  becomes  gr  in  Griba  from  gnipa. 
f          f,  bh    klif,  diof;  rif,  riof;  scarf,  scarbh  ;  rof,  Robhanis ; 

gljufr,  Globhur  (also  ?  Gleadhair) ;  orfiris-ey  becomes 

Orasay ;  /  before  s  is  dropped  :    klifsgro,  Clisgro. 

Initial  /  is  apt  to  become  jt? ;  flatr,  PfaiW  (being 

mistaken  for  ph] ;  /«-  becomes  win,  nn  ;  hofn,  gen. 

hafnar,  Thamnabhaigh,  Tannara. 

th  (initial)  t  throskr,  trong  ;  thari,  Tarigeo  •  Thorir,  Tbrasdal. 
b  (initial)  b   regularly ;    but,    biid1,    genitive   bufrar,    Putharol, 


Initial  h  frequently  developes  t  in  Gaelic,  being   naturally 
mistaken  for  th,  i.e.,  aspirated  t  •  thus  hafnar-ey  becomes  Tannara ; 


haga-dalr,  Taghadal ;  Mmr,  Tolm  and  -tuilm ;  hjalli-dalr, 
Tcalladal ;  holl,  ^To//.  In  one  important  name  at  least  hj 
becomes  se  :  Hjaltland,  SeaUainn  (Shetland),  or,  in  Reay,  Seoltain. 


Columba,  the  great  Apostle  of  the  Northern  Picts, 
arrived  in  lona  from  Ireland  in  563,  and  two  years 
later  visited  the  Pictish  King  Brude  at  his  palace 
near  Inverness.  The  Irish  monks  were  full  of  mission- 
ary zeal.  On  the  occasion  of  Columba's  visit  to  King 
Brude,  incidental  mention  is  made  of  a  proposal  by 
one  of  his  brethren  to  seek  "  a  desert  in  the  sea  '* 
somewhere  about  the  Orkneys.  By  the  end  of  the 
eighth  century,  as  we  know  on  the  reliable  authority 
of  the  Irish  monk  Dicuil,  as  also  from  other  sources, 
the  missionaries  of  the  Celtic  Church  had  reached 
even  Iceland,  which,  however,  they  abandoned 
before  the  arrival  of  the  Pagan  Norsemen  in  875. 
There  is  therefore  no  reason  to  doubt  that  before  the 
year  800  the  Christian  religion  had  spread  to  Lewis 
also,  though  about  that  time  it  must  have  received 
a  severe  check  from  the  influx  of  the  invaders.  The 
direct  proofs  of  Celtic  Church  influence  are  three  :— 
(l)  records,  (2)  sculptured  stones,  (3)  dedications 
and  ecclesiastical  terms  preserved  in  place-names. 
1.  Records.  Of  records  we  have  only  those  relating  to  the 
Monastery  of  Applecross,  as  follows  : — 


671  Maelruba  in  Britanniam  navigavit  (Tig.  Ann.) 
673  Maelruba  fundavifc  ccclesiam  Aporcrossan  (ib.). 



722  Maelruba  in    Apercrossan,    anno   LXXX.   aetatis   suae   et 

tribus  mensibus  et  xix.  diebus  peractis  in  xi.  kl.  Mai, 

tcrtiae  feriae  die,  pausat  (ib.). 
737  Failbe  me    Guaire,  Maelrubai  eiris   .i.    Apnorcrosain   .i. 

prof  undo  Pelagi  dimersus  est  cum  suis  nautis  numero 

xxn.  (ib.).1 

From  other  sources  we  learn  that  Malruba  before 
he  left  Ireland  was  Abbot  of  Bangor,  and  that,  like 
Columba,  he  was  of  noble  birth.2  His  name  has 
been  derived  from  mael,  tonsured,  and  ruba,  peace 
or  patience  ;  another  quite  feasible  explanation  is 
from  ruba  (now  rudha),  a  promontory  ;  Mal-ruba  = 
Gille  an  Hudha,  the  Lad  of  the  Point.  Names 
were  often  given  from  the  accident  of  place  or  time 
of  birth.3  Dedications  to  him  are  extremely  common, 
and  his  name  assumes  a  variety  of  forms.  In  Ross 
we  have  Combrich  Mulruy,  i.e.,  Comraich  Maol- 
ruibh,  Malruba's  sanctuary,  to  wit,  Applecross.  On 
Eilean  Ma-Ruibli,  Isle  Maree,  is  a  bury  ing-ground 
and  sacred  well,  whose  waters  used  to  cure  insanity. 
In  honour  of  him  the  finest  of  our  northern  lakes 
has  changed  its  name  from  Loch  Ewe  to  Loch 
Maree.  Near  Jamestown  in  Contin  is  Preas  Ma- 


1  671  Malruba  sailed  to  Britain. 

673  Malruba  fouuded  the  Church  of  Aporcrossan. 

722  Malruba  died  at  Apercrossan  at  the  age  of  eighty  years  three  months 
and  nineteen  days,  on  the  21st  day  of  April,  being  a  Tuesday. 

737  Failbe,  son  of  Guaire,  successor  of  Malruba  in  Apuorcrosain,  was 
drowned  in  the  open  sea  with  his  sailors  to  the  number  of  twenty- 

2  Practically  all  that  can  be  gathered  about  St  Malruba  is  to  be  found  in 
Dr  Reeves'  article  (Proc.  Soc.  Scott.  Antiq.  vol.  III.) 

3  Cf.  Mael-Mocheirigh,  Slave  of  Early-rising  ;  Lat.  Manius. 

Ixii.         PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND   CROMARTY. 

Ruibh,  Malruba's  Grove,  long  a  place  of  sanctity, 
and  now  the  burial-place  of  the  family  of  Coul.  An 
autumn  fair,  Feill  Ma- Ruibh,  was  long  held  at 
Contin,  later  at  Dingwall,  where  it  died  out  within 
living  memory.  Two  or  three  places  are  said  to  be 
called  Suidh  Ma-Ruibh,  Malruba's  seat,  where  he 
was  wont  to  rest  on  his  journeys,  but  I  have  been 
so  far  unable  to  verify  them.  One  is  said  to  be 
marked  by  a  low  pillar  stone  in  a  field  at  Bad  a' 
Mhanaich,  Monk's  Clump,  at  the  west  end  of  Loch 

ii.  Sculp-  Sculptured  stones  belonging  to  the  Celtic  Church 
58  have  been  found  at  Applecross,  Rosemarkie,  Nigg, 
Tarbat,  Edderton,  and  Kincardine.  The  presence 
of  such,  most  of  them  indicating  a  very  high  degree 
of  skill  in  workmanship,  is  in  itself  a  conclusive 
proof  of  strong  Church  influence. 

iii.  Ecclesias-       For  convenience,  it  will  be  well  to  include  all  the 
tical  Terms,  ecclesiastical    terms    found,     distinguishing     those 

peculiar  to  the  early  Church  from  later  ones. 
Neimhidh.  The  word  neimhidh,  church-land  ;  0.  Ir.  nemed, 
saceUum,  chapel  ;  Gaulish  nemetoii  or  nemeton,  a 
shrine  in  a  grove,  is  a  pagan  term  grafted  on  to 
Christian  usage.  It  is  a  common  element  in  Gaulish 
names,  e.g.,  Nemetomarus,  great  shrine  ;  Augus- 
tonemeton,  shrine  of  Augustus  ;  Vernemetis.  faiium 
ingens,  very  great  shrine.  Zeuss  quotes  "  de  sacris 
silvarum  quae  nimidas  vocant,"  concerning  shrines 
in  woods  which  they  call  nimidae ;  "  silva  quae 
vocatur  nemet,"  the  wood  which  is  called  nemet. 
The  root  is  seen  in  Latin  nem-us,  a  grove  ;  Gael. 



neamh,  heaven:  It  is  quite  possible  that  the  places 
in  which  the  word  occurs  with  us  were  originally 
sacred  to  the  pagan  deities  of  the  Picts  ;  later  they 
were  church-land.  In  Rosskeeri  are  Dalnavie, 
Cnocnavie,  and  Inchnavie,  Dale,  Hill,  and  Haugh  of 
the  Church -land  ;  all  adjacent  to  Nonakiln,  G.  Neo' 
na  Cille,  in  1563  Newnakle,  Glebe  of  the  Church, 
viz.,  the  ancient  chapel  whose  ruins  still  exist.1  The 
N.  Stat.  Ace.  mentions  that  in  Rosskeen  there  were 
at  the  time  of  writing  two  glebes,  one  "  at  Noinikil, 
the  cell  or  chapel  of  St  Ninian,"  a  derivation 
obviously  impossible,  for  it  would  require  Cill- 
Ninian.  With  this  goes  also  the  assumed  dedi- 
cation to  Ninian,  who  is  nowhere  commemorated 
in  Ross.  Eastwards  of  Nonakiln  is  Newmore, 
G.  Neo'-mhor,  of  old  Nevyn  Meikle,  Great-glebe, 
the  exact  representative  of  Nemetomarus  above. 
It  was  church-land  before  the  Reformation.  All 
these  names  occur  together.  The  only  other 
instance  in  Ross  is  Navity,  near  Cromarty,  also 
church-land,  G.  Neamhaitidh,  the  formation  of 
which  makes  it  very  doubtful  whether  it  was 
ever  given  by  the  Celtic  Church,  and  strongly 
suggests  Pictish  origin.2  It  recurs  in  Fife  as  Navaty, 
in  1477  Nevody.  Rosneath,  G.  Ros-neo'idh,  in  1199 
Neveth,  1477  Rosneveth  may  mean  Promontory  of 
the  Nemet.  Nevay  occurs  as  a  parish  name  in  W. 
For  far. 

JIn  1275  we  hare  "  Nevoth  et  Roskerene "  (Theiner,  Vet.  Mon.),  i.e.^ 
Navie  and  Rosskeen.  It  is  probable  that  at  this  date  "  Nevoth "  included 
both  Nonakiln  and  NeMrmoi-e. 

2  The  well-known  legend  that  the  final  Judgment  is  to  take  place  on  the 
mo'.ir  of  Navity  may  have  its  root  in  some  pagan  superstition. 

IxiV.          PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

Annat.      Annat,   G.   annaid  or  annait,   Ir.  annoid,  O.  Ir. 

Annaid.  an^i^  is  a  very  old  term,  peculiarly  and  decisively 
characteristic  of  the  Celtic  Church.  It  appears  to 
come  from  late  Lat.  antas,  antat-is,  glossed  senatus, 
council  of  the  ancients  or  elders.  In  Irish  usage  the 
annoid  was  the  church  in  which  the  patron  saint  of 
the  monastery  or  monastic  district  was  educated,  or 
in  which  his  relics  were  kept.  The  Book  of  Armagh 
(c.  800)  relates  that  St  Patrick  left  Iserninus  or 
larnan  at  a  certain  place  to  found  his  monastery 
(manche)  and  his  patron  saint's  church  (andooit). 
The  exact  position  of  the  Scottish  Annats  is  not  so 
clear  ;  they  are  at  any  rate  of  great  antiquity,  indi- 
cating doubtless  the  earliest  Christian  settlements 
in  their  particular  districts.  We  have  Ach-na- 
h- Annaid  in  Kincardine ;  Annat  and  Loch  na 
h- Annaid  in  Nigg  ;  Annat  and  Clench  na  h-Annaid 
beyond  Clachuil  on  the  way  to  Strathconon  ;  Annat 
opposite  Iiivermany  ;  Annat  at  Torridon  ;  and  Annat 
at  Kildonan,  Lochbroom — six  in  all,  on  the  main- 
la'nd  of  Ross.  In  the  Island  of  Crowlin,  off  Apple- 
cross,  is  Port  na  h-Annaid.  In  Lewis  there  is  na 
h-Annaidean,  the  Annats  at  Shader  ;  there  is  also 
an  Annat  in  the  Shiant  Isles,  G.  na  h-Eileanan 
Sianta,  the  Charmed  Isles.  These  names  must 
have  survived  through  the  Norse  occupation  from 
the  time  of  the  early  missionaries. 

Cill.  dM  is  the  locative  case  of  O.I.  cell,  a  church, 
from  Lat.  cella,  a  cell.  In  place-names  it  always 
means  church,  in  modern  G.  churchyard.  As  a  rule 
cill  stands  first  in  compounds,  followed  by  the  name 


of  the  saint  commemorated  by  the  dedication. 
Sometimes,  but  rarely,  the  specific  part  of  the  com- 
pound is  not  a  saint's  name,  e.g.,  Kildun,  G.  Cill- 
duinn,  appears  to  be  the  locative  of  Cell-dhonn, 
Brown  Church.  The  Gill's  of  the  Celtic  Church 
may  be  distinguished  by  their  dedications  to  Celtic 
saints,  e.g. ,  Kilmachalmag  ;  names  such  as  Kilmuir 
and  Kilchrist  are  of  Roman  Catholic  origin.  In 
English  spelling  and  pronunciation,  but  not  in 
Gaelic,  cill  is  apt  to  be  confused  with  cuil,  corner, 
e.g.,  Kilcoy ;  caol,  narrow,  e.g.,  Kildary ;  coille, 
wood,  e.g.,  Kinkell,  G.  Ceann  na  Coille,  Woodhead. 
For  the  Ross  Gill's  see  index  under  Kil-,  Gill-. 

Clachan,  a  stone  church,  Ir.  clochan,  a  stone  Clachan. 
bee-hive  monastic  hut.  On  the  mainland  of  Ross 
clachan  is  practically  confined  to  the  West  Coast  : 
on  the  east  the  only  instance  known  to  me  is  Beinn 
a  Chlachain,  not  far  from  the  Parish  Church  of 
Kincardine.  On  the  west,  as  a  reference  to  the 
index  will  show,  it  is  common. 

Teampull,  a  church,  borrowed  from  Lat.  templum,  Teampull. 
a  temple,  occurs  only  twice  on  the  mainland,  and  in 
both  cases  it  seems  likely  that  the  term  applied  not 
to  a  "temple  made  with  hands,"  but  to  places 
naturally  adapted  to  shelter  a  few  worshippers. 
In  the  Isles  it  means  simply  church,  and  is  regularly 
followed  by  a  saint's  name. 

Eaglais,   from  Lat.   ecelesia,  the  modern  G.  for  Eaglais. 
church,  occurs  seldom    in    place-names.     Beinn  na 
h-Eaglaise  above  Annat,  Torridon,  is  one  of  the  few 
examples  with  us. 

Ixvi.          PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

Seip«il.  Seipeil  is  a  late  word  from  Eng.  chapel,  as  is 
shown  by  initial  s ;  a  direct  loan  from  Lat.  capella 
would  give  caibeal. 

Manachainn  Manachainn,  a  monastery,  abbey,  priory,  from 
manach,  a  monk.  From  the  Abbey  of  Fearn  the 
parish  is  in  G.  Sgir  na  Manachainn.  The  other 
northern  example  is  Beauly  Priory,  G.  Manachainn 
'ic  Shimidh,  v.  Fearn. 

Comraich.  There  were  in  Ross  two  girths  or  sanctuaries, 
that  of  St  Malruba  in  Applecross,  and  of  St  Duthac 
at  Tain.  The  memory  of  the  former  is  preserved  in 
the  G.  name  for  Applecross,  a'  Chomraich,  and  of 
the  latter  by  Clais  na  Comraich,  on  the  Scotsburn 
road,  two  miles  from  Tain.  The  limits  of  both  were 
marked  by  stone  crosses.  Reference  to  the  Tain 
girth-crosses  is  made  in  the  text ;  in  Applecross  one 
was  to  be  seen  just  opposite  the  U.F.  Church 
Manse  till  recent  times,  when  the  zeal  of  a  Pro- 
testant mason  smashed  it.  The  most  notable 
personages  who  sought  to  the  sanctuary  of  St 
Duthac  were  the  queen  and  daughter  of  King 
Robert  Bruce  (1306);  "but  that  travele  they  mad 
in  vane,"  for  the  influence  of  the  English  King  was 
sufficient  to  induce  William,  then  Earl  of  Ross,  to 
violate  the  girth  and  surrender  the  fugitives.  The 
last  occasion  of  public  importance  in  this  connection 
was  in  1483,  when  William,  Lord  Crichton,  on  a 
charge  of  treason,  took  refuge  in  the  girth  of  Tain. 
Celtair.  Celta-ir,  an  Irish  word  for  church,  is  perhaps  seen 
in  Kildermorie,  Alriess,  though  in  the  absence  of 
the  Gaelic  form  we  can  have  no  certainty.  Natives 


speak  only  of  Gleanna-Mhoire,  Mary's  Glen.  Per- 
haps Kildermorie  is  to  be  regarded  as  a  reversed  form 
of  Maryculter,  a  name  which,  with  Peterculter,  has 
never  been  satisfactorily  explained. 

Crois,  a  cross,  appears    in    Crois    Catrion,    near  Crois. 
Tain ;  probably  also  in  Crosshills,  and  Corslet. 

A'  Ohananaich,  the  place  of  Canons,  Chanonry,  Cananaich. 
is  the  Gael,  name  of  Fortrose.      A  Roman  Catholic 

Sgir,  a  parish,  is  a  loan  from  Ang.  Sax.  sci'r,  a  Sgir. 
county,  now  shire. 

Other  ecclesiastical  terms  occasionally  found  in  Manach. 
place  names  are  manach,  a  monk  ;  sagart,  a  priest ;  ^**  " 
cliar,  clergy  ;  cleireach,  a  cleric  ;  mfnistir,  a  minister  Oeireach. 
— the  last  a  presbyterian  term.     Cf.  Ard-mhanaidh ,  Mmistir- 
Priesthill,  Dochnaclear,  Dalnaclerach,  Clach  Airigh 
a'  Mhinistir. 

Traces  of  ecclesiastical  establishments  found  by  Norse 
the   Norsemen   on    their   arrival   are    Inverkirkaig,  ^er^g 
from  kirkju-vik,  Church  Bay  ;   Mungasdale,  Monk- 
dale,  both  in   Lochbroom  ;     Pabay,  Pope  or   Priest 
Isle ;     Bayble,     Priest-stead  ;     Mungarsta,    Monk- 
stead,  in  Lewis. 

The  saints  commemorated  in  Ross  are  Columba,  Dedications. 
Moluag,     Donnan     (contemporaries     of    Columba), 
Colman,     lurnan,     Malruba     (already     mentioned), 
Fillan,  Congan,  Kentigerna,  Fionn,  Brigb,  Curitan, 
Ferchar,  Dubhthach  or  Duthac,  and  perhups  Cormac. 

No  dedication  to   St   Columba  appears   on    the  Columba. 
mainland  of  Ross.       In   Lewis  the   old   church  of 
Lochs,  on  Eileau  Chalum-Cille  (St  Columba's  Isle), 
was  dedicated  to  him. 

Ixviii.        PLACE-NAMES    OF    ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

Moluag.  Moluag  shows  the  honorific  prefix  mo,  my,  com- 
mon with  saints'  names.  Lu-oc  itself  is  a  pet  form 
of  Lugaid,  root  long,  win,  whence  the  Celtic  sun- 
god  Lugos.  The  saint  was  Bishop  and  Abbot  of 
Lismore,  and  tradition  says  that  he  was  buried  at 
Rosemarkie.1  His  name  survives  in  Davach-Moluag, 

Domian.  Donnan  of  Eigg  (from  donn,  brown),  has  his 
name  preserved  in  Kildonan  on  Little  Lochbroom, 
Seipeil  Donnain  or  St  Donan's  Chapel  in  Kishorn, 
and  probably  j  Eilean  Donnain,  Donnan's  Isle, 

Colman.  Caiman,  "  little  dove,"  was  a  favourite  name 
among  the  Irish  clerics,  and  in  the  multitude  of 
Colmans  it  is  impossible  to  be  sure  of  the  particular 
saint  who  is  commemorated  in  the  names  Kilmach- 
almag,  G.  Cill-mo-Chalmaig,  and  Portmahomack, 
G.  Port-mo- Cholmaig,  and  to  whom  the  parish 
church  of  Tarbat  was  dedicated.  In  Portmahomack 
is  Tobair  Mo- Cholmaig,  St  Colman's  Well.  At 
Kilmachalmag,  near  the  right  bank  of  the  burn  not 
far  from  its  mouth,  there  are  still  traces  of  a  very 
small  chapel  adjoining  a  disused  and  sadly  neglected 
bury  ing-ground.  East  of  it  is  Achnahannet,  noted 
lurnan.  ;por  Iurnan  Vm  under  Killearnan. 

Fillan,  G.  Faolan,  little  wolf,  was  the  son  of 
Kentigerna.  Hence  Kilillan,  G.  Cill-Fhaolain,  in 

1  Aberdeen  Breviary. 


Congan,  brother   of  Keritigerna,   is  the  patron  Congan. 
saint  of  Lochalsh,   and  appears    also  in  Kilchoan, 
now  Mountrich,  in  Kiltearn. 

Kentigerna,  Ir.  Caintigerna,  kind  lady,  crossed  Kentigerna. 
from  Ireland  to  Lochalsh,  according  to  the  legend, 
c.  615,  accompanied  by  her  son,  Fillan,  and  her 
brother,  Congan.  Her  name  is  kept  in  Cill- 
Chaointeort  (Glenshiel),  in  1543  Kilkinterne,  1727 
Kilchintorn,  1719  Killiwhinton.  It  will  be  seen 
that  the  place-names  support  the  legend. 

The  existence  of  St  Fionn  is  guaranteed  by  the  Fionn. 
name  Killin,  G.  Cill-Fhinn,  at  Garve,  taken  together 
with  Loch    Maol-Fhinn,  Loch  of  the  shaveling  of 
Fionn,  which  is  the  G.  for  Loch  Garve. 

Brigh,    a  female  saint ;    Cladh  mo-Bhrlgli  is  a  Brigh. 
small  burial  place  with  remains  of  chapel  between 
the  public  road  and  the  sea,  two  miles  east  of  Ding- 

Curitan,  G.  Curadan,  Latinised  Queretinus,  and  Curitan. 
sometimes  called  Boniface,  was  a  native  of  Scotland, 
for  he  is  referred  to  as  Albanus  Queretinus  (i.e., 
Curadan  Albanach),  cf.  St  Duthac.  Curitan  was  an 
important  personage,  who  flourished  c.  700,  a  con- 
temporary of  Nechtan,  son  of  Derili,  that  King  of 
the  Northern  Picts  who  promulgated  the  edict  of 
conformity  to  Rome  in  the  matters  of  Easter  and 
the  tonsure.  It  is  probable  that  Curitan  was  of  the 
Romanising  party,  and  was  Nechtan's  adviser  in 
things  spiritual.  In  Ross  we  have  Cladh  Chur- 
adain,  St  Curitan's  graveyard,  a  small  rectangular 
burying-ground  north  of  the  farmhouse  of  Assynt, 

Ixx.        PLACE-NAMES    OF    ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

Novar,  used  within  living  memory,  and  stated  to 
have  contained  stories  with  inscriptions  and  car- 
vings.1 Cnoc  Churadair,  north  of  Ardoch,  Alness, 
is  St  Curitan's  Hill  (the  n  of  Cladh  Churadain  is 
sometimes  heard  as  r) ;  as  the  place  is  thickly 
wooded,  it  would  be  difficult  to  search  for  remains 
of  a  chapel,  and  I  have  heard  no  tradition.  Other 
traces  of  Curitan  are  Cladh  Churadain  and  Suidh 
Churadain  at  Lochend,  Inverness;  Cladh  Churadain 
at  Struy,  Strathglass ;  Cladh  Churadain,  Tobair 
Churadain  and  Croit  Churadain  in  Gleri-Urquhart. 
The  old  church  of  Fearnua,  in  Kirkhill  paiish,  was 
dedicated  to  "  Corridon." 

Ferchar.  Ferchar  (Ver-caros,  very  dear),  is  known  only  by 
a  small  deserted  burial-place  opposite  Shiel  School, 
called  Cill-Fhearchair. 

Dubhthach.  Dubhthach  or  Dubtach  (Dubotacos),  from  Dubh, 
black,  was  a  name  not  uncommon.  Dubhthach, 
contemporary  with  St  Patrick  (432),  was  one  of  the 
nine  compilers  of  the  Seanchus  Mor  ;  another  was 
Abbot  of  lona  (850-870),  and  there  were  others 
besides.  It  is  generally  agreed,  however,  that  St 
Duthac  of  Tain  is  the  one  whose  death  is  thus 
recorded  in  the  Annals  of  Ulster  under  date  1065:— 

Dubtach  Albannach,  prim  Anmchara  Erinn  agus  Albain  in 

Ardmacha  quievit. 
Dubtach  of  Alba,  chief  soul-friend  of  Erin  and  of  Alba  rested 

in  Armagh. 

St  Duthac  is  the  patron  saint  of  Tain,  where  may 
be  seen  the  ancient  chapel  "  quhair  he  was  borne," 

1  This  venerable  spot  was  inadvertently  planted,  but  is  now  cleared  and 
tended  by  order  of  Novar, 


and  Tain  in  G.  is  Baile-Dhubhthaich,  Duthac's  Town. 
Hugh  Miller  notes  St  Duthus'  well  near  Cromarty. 
In  Kintail  there  are  Clachan  Dubhthaich  on  Loch 
Duich,  and  Cadha  Dhubhthaich,  the  name  of  the 
Bcalach  leading  into  Glen  Affric. 

The  name  of  St  Cormac  may  be  commemorated  Cormac. 
in  Tobair  Corniaig,  Niggf.  A  Tain  fair  was  also 
named  after  him  (v.  Tain).  Cormac  was  the  name 
of  the  brother  for  whom  Columba  sought  the  pro- 
tection of  King  Brude,  and  who  reached  Orkney  in 
his  voyaging. 

All  the  saints  above  mentioned  belong  to  the  Roman 
Celtic  Church,  though  by  Duthac's  time  relations  Dedication!. 
with  Rome  were  closer.  To  the  subsequent  period, 
when  under  the  influence  of  Queen  Margaret  and 
her  sons  the  Scottish  Church  was  made  in  all 
respects  to  conform  to  the  Church  of  Rome,  belong 
such  dedications  as  Kil-muir,  Kirk-michael,  Kil- 
chriat,  and  names  like  Tobair  Eadhain  Bhaist,  Port 
Eadhain  Bhaist,  Weil  and  Port  of  St  John  the 
Baptist.  St  Cowstan's  Chapel,  on  the  Eye  Penin- 
sula, shows  a  dedication  to  St  Constantino . 


It  may  be  useful  to  add  a  short  analysis  of  the 
principal  terms  connected  with  natural  features, 
artificial  structures,  old  occupations,  plants,  animals, 
etc.,  found  in  the  names  of  Ross.  As  the  Norse 
names  of  Lewis  are  so  arranged  in  1  he  text,  it  will 
be  unnecessary  to  include  them  here. 

Ixxii.      PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND   CROMARTY. 

Streams.  The  general  name  for  a  river  is  abhainn,  applied 
to  all  relatively  large  streams,  and  often  to  smaller 
ones,  whose  course  is  tolerably  smooth.  The  obsolete 
word  abh,  stream,  is  seen  in  Av-och,  stream  place. 
Allt,  in  Irish  means  a  wooded  valley  or  glen,  a  cliff ; 
in  Welsh,  a  wooded  cliff;  connected  with  Lat.  altus, 
high.  Our  meaning  of  "  stream,  burn,"  is  peculiar  to 
Scottish  Gaelic,  and  is  probably  of  Pictish  origin.  The 
original  meaning  appears  in  the  common  Leth-allt, 
half-burn,  really  half-height,  applied  to  a  burn  with 
one  steep  side.  Oaochan,  from  caocli,  blind,  is  applied 
to  a  small  stream  which  is  sometimes  almost  hidden 
by  the  heather.  Another  term  for  stream  is  glais, 
more  common  in  Ireland  than  in  Scotland.  With 
us  it  occurs  in  Glen-glass,  in  Fowlis  G.  Folais  for 
fo-ghlais,  arid  in  Allt  Folais  on  Loch  Maree.  A 
slender  rivulet  is  feadan.  The  very  general  term 
uisge,  water,  is  met  in  Uisge  Bhearnais,  water  of  the 
cleft,  Kintail.  A  still,  narrow  channel  between  two 
waters  is  uidh,  a  water  isthmus,  from  Norse  ei(S. 
The  nearest  Gaelic  equivalent  is  eileach.  Feitli, 
literally  a  vein,  is  applied  to  a  bog  channel. 
The  O.  Ir.  word  bir,  denoting  water,  well,  is  seen  in 
Poll  a'  Bhior,  in  the  Applecross  river.  O.G.  and 
Pictish  dobur,  water,  gives  Dobhran,  Dourag, 
Eddirdover.  A  fall  is  eas  ;  a  combination  of  two  or 
more  is  coneas.  Cuingleum,  Coylum,  narrow  leap,  gut. 

Marshes.  The  Pictish  name  for  a  marsh  appears  to  be 
Allan,  from  the  root  seen  in  Lat.  pal-us.  Alness, 
G.  Alanais,  means  '  the  place  of  the  marsh.'  Riasg 
means  a  boggy  place,  where  dirk  grass  grows. 
Bogradh  is  a  soft  place ;  glaodhaich,  a  miry,  gluey 


place  ;  cathar,  a  place  of  broken,  mossy  ground.     A 
damp  meadow  is  Ion  usually  ;  once  we  find  cala. 

The  Pictish  for  confluence  is  Con  tin,  in  G.  Confluences. 
Cunndainn,  cf.  Gaulish  Condate,  Contion-acum. 
Another  Pictish  term  is  obair,  for  od-ber,  out-put, 
out-How,  corresponding  to  the  Gael,  inbhir  for  in- 
ker, in-put,  in-flow.  The  real  term  for  a  junction  is 
comar,  from  eon-ber,  joint-flow  ;  also,  though  rarely, 
comunn.  In  Lewis  the  regular  term  for  a  river 
mouth  is  bun,  bottom.  The  Norse  for  confluence  is 
dr-mot  or  d-mot,  river-meet,  appearing  as  Amat. 

A  ford  is  dth ;  a  ford-mouth,  beul-atlia,  pro-  Fords, 
nounced  quickly  apt  to  be  confounded  with  baite. 
A  place  where  crossing  was  wont  to  be  made  on 
planks  sometimes  involves  cldr,  a  board,  e.g.,  Poll 
nan  Clar.  A  place  for  crossing  on  stones  is 
clacharan,  in  Lewis  starran. 

Camas  means  a  bay,  bend  ;  ob  from  Norse  hop  is  Sea  Terms, 
the  same ;  also  bdgh,  a  late  word  not  much  used  in 
place-names.  A  sound,  firth,  or  narrow  is  caolas  or 
simply  caol,  e.g.,  Caolas  Chromba',  the  Cromarty 
Firth  ;  an  Caol  Arcach,  the  Orkney  Narrow,  i.e.,  the 
Pentland  Firth.  A  tide  race  is  sruth,  e.g.,  Sruth  na 
Lagaidh  ;  or  strom,  from  Norse  straumr.  Parts  of 
the  Minch  are  called  linne,  pool,  e.g.,  an  linne  Sgith- 
eauach,  an  linne  Rarsach.  The  Minch  itself  is  a' 
Mhaoil,  the  Moyle  ;  also  an  Cuan  Sgith,  the  sea  of 
Skye  ;  Cuan  Uidhist,  the  Little  Minch.  A  shore  is 
cladach  ;  a  stony  beach,  faoilinn  ;  a  sea  bank,  scaup, 
oitir  ;  port  means  a  harbour  on  the  west  coast ;  on 
the  east  a  ferry,  usually  ;  aiseig,  a  ferry.  Feadhail 

Ixxiv.         PLACE-NAMES   OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

is  an  extensive  beach,  or  a  place  between  islands 
uncovered  at  low  tide  ;  pi.  feadhlaickean.  Bodha, 
Norse  bofti,  is  a  sunken  reef;  iolla,  a  fishing  rock, 
usually  covered  at  high  tide.  Saothair,  from  saobh- 
thir,  false-land  or  side-land,  is  a  low  promontory 
covered  at  high  water,  or  the  similar  bank  between 
an  Eilean  Tioram  and  the  mainland.  The  shelving 
slope  between  the  old  raised  beach  and  the  present 
beach  is  on  the  west  coast  c&TLedfaithir,  probably 
from  fo-thir ;  Tairbeart  is  a  portage,  isthmus. 
Flats.  The  level  land  by  a  river  side  is  srath,  a  strath, 
Norse  dalr,  dale.  The  term  srath  is  much  commoner 
in  Scotland  than  in  Ireland,  and  may  be  rather 
Pictish  than  Gaelic.  A  narrow  strath  is  gleann, 
a  glen ;  a  rounded  glen  is  coire,  a  cauldron,  corry  ; 
often  narrow  at  the  mouth.  Innis,  primarily  an 
island,  means  commonly  a  haugh,  river-side  meadow  ; 
fan  is  a  level  place  or  a  gentle  slope  ;  hence  fanaich, 
place  of  the  flat.  Dail  is  a  dale,  usually  by  a  river 
side  ;  it  is  to  be  compared  with  Pictish  dol, 
dal,  dul,  plateau.  A  plain  is  magh  ;  a  sea-plain 
is  mor'oich,  from  mur-magh  ;  a  mossy  flat  is  blar. 
Machair  is  an  extensive  low-lying  fertile  plain  ; 
monadh,  tolerably  level  hill  ground.  In  Lewis  the 
land  between  machair  and  monadh,  the  strip  where 
the  houses  stand,  is  the  gearraidh,  from  Norse 
ger^Si,  an  enclosure.  Another  word  for  a  plain  is 
clar,  primarily  a  board.  A  little  plain  is  re'idhlean ; 
a  wet  plain  or  lea,  leana,  diminutive  leanag,  or 
with  us  lianag,  e.g.,  Lianagan  a'  Chuil-bhaicidh. 
Faithche  means  a  lawn ;  ailean,  a  green  ;  cluan, 


ID  dealing  with  names  of  lochs,  straths,  glens, 
and  comes,  it  is  well  to  remember  that  the  Celtic 
custom  is  to  name  each  after  the  stream  that  flows 
through  it. 

A  gap  or  pass  between  hills  is  bealach ;  a  cleft  is  Hollows. 
beam  or  bearnas.  A  chasm  is  glom,  e.g.,  Eas  na 
Glomaicb,  Falls  of  Glomach.  Eag  is  a  sharp  notch  ; 
lag,  a  rounded  hollow  ;  slacan,  a  circular  depression 
like  a  kiln ;  poll,  a  wet  miry  hollow,  also,  a  pool ; 
sloe,  a  pit,  slough  ;  cos,  a  nook  ;  dais,  a  narrow 
shallow  ravine. 

Beinn  (an  oblique  case  of  beann)  with  us  means  Heights, 
a  high  hill ;  in  Ireland  applied  only  to  hills  of 
medium  size.  Its  primary  meaning  is  pinnacle, 
horn,  which  is  still  kept  in  Eilean  na  Binne  and  in 
the  adjective  beannach,  pointed.  Sliabh,  applied  in 
Ireland  to  mountains,  is  very  rare  with  us,  and 
means  rather  a  mountain  moor.  A  hill  of  medium 
height  is  cnoc ;  xgurr  is  a  high  sharp  pointed  hill ; 
-sgor,  a  peak.  A  low  smooth  hill  or  ridge  is  tulach ; 
the  highest  tulach  is  Tulach  Ard  or  Ard-tulach  in 
Kintail.  Tom  is  a  rounded  knoll,  with  diminutive 
toman ;  a  one-sided  torn  or  toman  is  a  tiompan.  A 
great  shapeless  hill  is  meall,  a  lump ;  sgonn  is 
similar,  but  rare  ;  maol,  maoil,  means  a  great  bare 
rounded  hill.  Aonach  is  (1)  market  place,  (2)  high 
moor  ;  aoineadh,  a  very  steep  hill  side.  A  broad 
slope  is  leathad ;  leacainn  and  leitir  have  much 
the  same  meaning.  A  level  shelf  in  a  hill  side 
where  one  would  naturally  rest  is  spardan,  a  roost, 
or  suidhe,  a  seat.  Pait,  a  hump,  sometimes  a  ford. 

Ixxvi.        PLACE-NAMES   OF   BOSS   AND   CROMARTY. 

Two  words  remain  :  sitliean  and  cathair.  Slthean 
means  a  fairy  mound  ;  in  some  of  the  very  few  cases 
in  which  it  occurs  with  us  it  applies  to  a  big  rounded 
hill.  The  fairy  mound  is  always  called  cathair  on 
the  West  Coast,  and  conversely  almost  every  cathair 
is  a  fairy  mound. 

The  following  parts  of  the  body  are  found  used 
to  denote  shape,  position,  and  appearance  : — Ceann, 
head ;  claigionn,  skull ;  aodann,  face  ;  sron,  nose  ; 
beul,  mouth  ;  teanga,  tongue  ;  fiat-ail,  tooth  ;  bile, 
lip  ;  siiil,  eye  ;  feusag,  beard  ;  braghad,  neck,  upper 
part  of  the  chest ;  uchd,  breast,  with  its  diminutive 
uchdan  ;  cioch,  mam,  a  pap  ;  druim,  a  back  ; 
gualann,  shoulder ;  achlais,  arm-pit  ;  ruigh,  fore- 
arm ;  meoir,  fingers ;  ionga,  nail ;  dorn,  fist,  cf. 
Dornie  ;  mas,  buttock  ;  amhach,  neck  ;  ton,  rump  ; 
slios,  side. 

Woods.  The  generic  term  for  wood  is  coille  ;  doire  means 
Plants  a  grove>  primarily  of  oaks  ;  bad,  diminutive  badan 
and  badaidh,  is  a  clump  ;  gar,  a  thicket,  is  rare  ; 
preas,  in  modern  G.  a  bush,  is  in  place-names  better 
translated  clump.  The  Pictish  cardden,  a  brake, 
occurs  in  Kincardine,  Urquhart,  and  Glen-Urquhart. 
A  tree  is  crann,  whence  Crannich.  Of  individual 
trees  we  have  call,  hazel  (the  modern  calltuinn  never 
appears),  darach,  oak ;  rala,  oak  ;  beithe,  birch  ; 
caorunn,  rowan ;  giuthas,  fir ;  cuilionn,  holly ; 
fiodhag,  bird  cherry  ;  fearna,  alder ;  sgiach,  haw- 
thorn ;  draigheann,  blackthorn  ;  seileach,  willow  ; 
uinnsin,  ash,  is  rare ;  leamh,  elm,  also  rare  and 
somewhat  doubtful.  From  fiodh,  wood,  comes 


Achnegie,  G.  Achd-aii-fhiodhaiclh,  with  which  may 
be  compared  the  Pictish  Balkeitli. 

Among  the  smaller  plants  are  aitionn,  juniper  ; 
bealaidh,  broom  ;  eidheann,  ivy ;  roid,  bog  myrtle  ; 
raineach,  also  rainteach,  bracken  ;  fraoch,  heather  ; 
luacliair,  rushes ;  creamh,  wild  garlic ;  borrach, 
rough  hill  grass  ;  giivran,  cow  parsnip  ;  suibhean, 
raspberry  ;  dris,  bramble  ;  sarnh,  sorrel ;  feartag, 
sea-pink ;  carrachan,  wild  liquorice. 

The  regular  words  for  promontory  are  rudha  and  Promon- 
ard  or  aird,  corresponding  to  Norse  ness.  Ros,  a 
point,  occurs  in  Rosemarkie  and  Rosskeen.  Some- 
times, chiefly  in  Lewis,  gob,  a  beak,  occurs.  A  little 
promontory  at  the  end  of  a  rounded  bay  is  corran, 
very  common  on  the  west  coast.  Ploc  is  a  lumpish 
promontory.  Maoil,  a  loan  from  Norse  miili,  is  rare. 
cf.  the  Mull  of  Cantyre. 

The  various  names  for  horse  are  each,  marc,  Animals. 
capull ;  a  mare  is  lar,  and  is  often  difficult  to  dis- 
tinguish from  lar,  floor,  low  ground  ;  and  lar,  middle. 
Tarbh  is  a  bull ;  bo,  a  cow  ;  laogh,  a  calf  (of  cow  or 
hind) ;  gamhainn,  stirk  ;  gabhar,  a  goat ;  boc,  buck  ; 
meann,  kid.  Caor,  a  sheep,  does  not  occur,  though 
mult,  wedder,  appears  as  applied  figuratively  to  sea 
rocks  ;  also  in  the  Pictish  Multovy  ;  Norse,  saufta, 
sheep,  hrutr,  ram,  give  Syal  and  Strath-rusdale  ; 
muc,  pig,  is  common  ;  tore,  boar,  is  applied  some- 
times to  hills  from  their  appearance,  e.g.,  Meall  an 
Tuirc  ;  sometimes  from  the  wild  boar  ;  cat,  a  cat, 
indicates  haunts  of  wild  cats  ;  broc,  badger,  is  rare  ; 
cu,  dog  ;  cu  odhar,  otter,  appears  in  Altchoriier,  G. 

Ixxviii.        PLACE-NAMES    OF   BOSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

Allt  a'  choin  uidhir  ;  madadh  may  mean  either  fox 
or  wolf.  Of  the  deer  tribe,  we  have  damh,  stag  ; 
eilid,  hind ;  agh,  hind  ;  mang,  fawn ;  earb,  roe. 
Moigheach,  a  hare,  occurs  once. 

The  following  names  of  birds  are  found  :— 
Coileach,  a  grouse  cook  ;  clamhan  and  clamhag,  a 
kite  ;  speireag,  a  sparrow-hawk  ;  seabhag,  a  hawk  ; 
fitheach,  a  raven,  also  the  old  word  bran,  raven  ; 
iolair,  an  eagle  ;  feadag.  a  plover  ;  druid,  a  thrush  ; 
corr,  a  crane  ;  lack,  tunnag,  a  duck ;  leirg,  black 
throated  diver  ;  geadh,  a  goose  ;  caiman,  a  pigeon  ; 
eala,  a  swan  ;  sgarbh,  a  cormorant. 

Dwellings.  A  house  is  tigh.  The  regular  word  for  a  home- 
stead is  baile,  so  common  in  Ireland.  The  distri- 
bution of  this  term  in  Ross  is  remarkable.  In 
Easter  and  Mid  Ross  it  is  extremely  common, 
occurring  over  eighty  times.  On  the  west  there  are 
only  four  instances,  Balmacarra  in  Lochalsh,  Baile 
Shios,  Baile  Shuas,  and  am  Baile  Mor  (  =  Flower- 
dale)  in  Gairloch  ;  in  Lewis  there  is  only  Balallan. 
The  absence  of  baile  in  Lewis  is  natural :  the  town- 
ships are  denoted  by  the  Norse  bol-sta&r  and  stafSr. 
On  the  West  Coast  its  place  is  taken  by  achadh,  a 
cultivated  field,  which  is  correspondingly  rare  in  the 
east.  The  distribution  of  achadh  is  over  forty  in  the 
west,  to  about  twelve  in  the  east.  The  Pictish  pett 
so  common  in  Easter  Ross  has  already  been  noted. 
Both,  a  booth,  hut,  occurs  only  in  na  Bothaclian, 
Boath,  and  perhaps  in  Claonabo  in  Kin  tail.  This  is 
another  term  the  distribution  of  which  throughout 
the  Highlands  deserves  investigation.  It  is  very 


common  along  the  valley  of  the  Caledonian  Canal, 
also  in  certain  regions  of  Perth  and  Stirling, 
extremely  rare  north  of  Inverness.  The  obsolete 
fasadh,  a  dwelling,  is  frequent ;  outside  of  Eoss  it 
occurs  in  such  names  as  Fassiefearn,  Teanassie,  Foss. 
Another  much  less  common  term  of  the  same 
meaning  is  astail.  A  shieling  hut  was  called  long- 
phort,1  which  appears  in  Loch-luichart,  and  in  the 
form  of  Longard,  Lungard.  Treabhar,  as  a  collective 
noun  in  common  use  in  Easter  Ross,  meaning  farm 
buildings,  is  found  once  only  in  Tornapress,  G. 
Treabhar  nan  Preas.  The  ancient  fortified  places 
are  represented  by  dun,  rath,  lios.  The  site  of  a 
ruined  house  is  larach  ;  a  ruin  with  walls  s Landing 
and  roof  fallen  in  is  tobhta. 

A  cultivated  field  is  achadh  (shortened  into  ach,  Cultivation 
acha,  achd),  the  distribution  of  which  has  been  Encu>glircs 
noted  above.  Another  word  in  common  use  for 
field  is  raon  ;  a  lea  field  is  glasaicli ;  a  park  is 
pairc,  an  early  loan  from  English  ;  bard,  very  common 
in  Mid  Eoss,  means,  usually,  enclosed  meadow. 
lomair  is  a  ridge  or  rig  ;  feannag,  a  lazy-bed  ;  gead, 
a  narrow  strip  of  land.  Gart  is  enclosed  corn-land  ; 
diminutive  goirtean  ;  ceapach,  a  tillage  plot.  Terms 
connected  with  enclosures  are  eirbhe,  now  obsolete, 
a  fence,  or  wall ;  dig,  a  moat ;  cro,  a  sheep  fold,  with 
its  variant  era,  a  cruive  ;  buaile,  a  cattle  fold  ;  fang, 
a  fank  ;  geata,  a  gate  ;  cacJ/aileitJi,  a  field  gate,  or 
hurdle.  A  tidal  weir  for  catching  fish  is  cairidh  ; 
an  arrangement  for  catching  fish  in  a  stream  by 

1  Taylor,  the  Water  Poet,  who  travelled  in  Scotland  in  1618  and  saw  a 
hunting  in  Marr,  mentions  the  "  small  cottages,  built  on  purpose  to  lodge  in, 
which  they  call  Lonquhards." 

Ixxx.         PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

means  of  the  cabhuil  is  eileach,  applied  also  to  a 
narrow  shallow  stream  joining  two  lochs,  or  to  a 
mill-lade.  JEileag,  now  obsolete,  appears  to  have 
been  a  Y-shaped  structure,  wide  at  one  end,  narrow 
at  the  other,  into  which  deer  were  driven  and  shot 
with  arrows  as  they  came  out.1 

Together    with    the   general    term   arbh,    corn, 
Crops,  which    occurs     thrice,    there     are     several    names 
involving  seagail,  rye ;  Lainn  a'  Choir c  is  the  Oat- 
flat  ;  lion,  flax,  occurs  twice. 

In  connection  with  the  preparation  of  corn  for 
Occupations  fOOcl  are  ath,  a  kiln ;  eararadh,  the  process  of 
Customs,  parching ;  muileann,  a  mill.  Sabhal,  a  barn,  is 
fairly  common,  as  also  baitheach,  a  cow  house. 
Cnagan  na  Leathrach,  and  possibly  the  Sutors,  are 
connected  with  tanning.  Allt  and  Muileann 
Luathaidh  commemorate  the  fulling  of  cloth. 
Gobha,  a  smith,  occurs  in  Balnagown  and  Led- 
gowan.  Ceardach,  a  forge,  smithy,  has  sometimes 
reference  to  ancient  smelting  works.  The  seven- 
teenth century  works  on  Loch  Maree  side  give 
a'  Cheardach  Huadh,  the  red  smithy,  Fuirneis, 
Furnace,  and  Abhainn  na  Fuirneis,  E-iver  of  the 
Furnace.  The  old  practice  of  making  peat  char- 
coal gives  rise  to  Meall  a'  Ghuail.  The  shieling 
custom  gives  the  numerous  names  involving 
airigh.  Flax  was  steeped  at  the  Lint-pools 
and  Tobair  narn  Puill  Lin,  and  linen  was  bleached 
at  Baliritore.  Balleigh  means  Leech's  or  Physi- 
cian's stead.  Baronies  with  power  of  pit 

1  Another  name,  not  found  in  Ross,  for  a  similar  arrangement,  but  not 
necessarily  artificial,  is  Elriy,  G.  lolairig. 


and  gallows  have  left  traces  in  the  not  uncommon 
Cnoc  na  Croiche,  where  men  were  hanged,  and  Poll 
a'  Bhathaidh,  where  women  were  drowned. 

The  old  standard  measure  of  land  in  Pictland  was       Land 

.    .      ,,  P  .,  ,  ,    Measures, 

the  dabhach,  originally  a  measure  01  capacity,    vat. 

The  extent  of  the  dabhach  varied  according  to  the 
land  and  the  locality.  It  is  usually  given  as  four 
ploughgates,  but  must  have  been  often  less.  Many 
names  involving  dabhach  are  found  all  over  the 
mainland  part  of  Ross.  Lewis  was  divided  into 
fifteen  davachs.  The  word  usually  appears  in 
English  as  Doch  ;  in  E.  Ross  the  Gaelic  form  is 
do'ach.  A  half-davach  is  leith-do'ch,  Englished 
Lettoch.  or  sometimes  Halfdavach,  whence  Haddach, 
Haddo.  Further  divisions  of  the  davach  appear  to 
have  been  the  ceathramh,  fourth  part,  and  the 
ochdamh,  eighth  part,  whence  Balcherry,  Ochto  or 

The  old  Gaelic  practice  of  division  into  fifths 
survives  in  the  name  Coigach,  Place  of  fifths. 

The  oxgate  appears  doubtfully  in  Midoxgate ; 
the  rental  of  1727  gives  Mickle  Oxgate  and  Middle 
Oxgate  as  divisions  of  Ruarach  in  Kintail.  The 
merkland  survives  in  Drumnamarg  in  the  Black 
Isle,  and  in  1538  appear  "the  four  merklands  of 
Eschadillis"  (Eskadale,  Ashdale),  somewhere  in 
Strathconon.  But  apart  from  the  davach  and  its 
divisions,  the  representation  in  place-names  of  these 
old  land  measures  is  trifling. 

Aon,  one,  is  found  in  Leathad  an  aon  Bhothain, 
Hillside   of  the    one    hut.       Names    involving   the      ations 
numerical  da,  two,  are  not  uncommon  on  the  West 

Ixxxii.         PLACE-NAMES    OF    ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

Coast,  e.g.,  Achadh  da  Tearnaidh,  Field  of  two 
Descents  ;  Cnoc  da  Choimhead,  Hill  of  two  pros- 
pects; Ach'  da  Domhnuill,  Field  of  two  Donalds; 
Ach'  da  Sgaillt,  Field  of  two  bare  places;  Poll 
da  Ruigh,  Wet  hollow  of  two  slopes.  In  the  eastern 
part  the  only  examples  met  are  Cnoc  Dubh  eadar 
dk  Allt  a'  Chlaiginn,  Black  hill  between  the  two 
burns  of  the  Skull,  and  Ach'  d&  Bhannag,  Field  of 
two  Cakes.  Trl,  three,  is  found  in  Sgeir  an  Trith- 
inn,  Trinity  Skerry,  a  sea  rock  with  three  humps. 
Coig,  five,  is  the  base  of  Coigach,  Place  of  Fifths. 
Seachd,  seven,  occurs  in  Fuaran  seachd  Goil,  Well 
of  seven  Boilings.  Leth,  half,  is  frequently  prefixed 
to  denote  one-sidedness.  Lethallt,  half-burn,  really 
half-height,  describes  the  valley  of  a  stream  with 
one  steep  side ;  leth-ghleann,  half-glen,  is  of  similar 
meaning.  Leth-chreag  is  a  one-sided  rock  ;  leith- 
each,  a  one-sided  place,  half-place,  e.g.,  the  narrow 
strip  of  land  between  loch  and  hill ;  Norse  skiki. 
So  lethoir,  half-border,  similar  in  meaning  to  Welsh 
lledymyl  =  G.  leth-iomall,  border  near  the  edge,  which 
exactly  describes  Learnie,  on  the  south  side  of  the 
Black  Isle,  sloping  down  to  the  sea- cliffs.  The  very 
common  leitir  is  probably  for  leth-tir,  half-land, 
sloping  hill-side. 

Historical  Fights  of  olden  times  are  commemorated  in  such 
Events  and  names  as  Blar  nan  Ceann,  Knocknacean,  Ath  nan 
Ceann,  Moor,  Hill,  and  Ford  of  the  Heads  ;  Allt  nan 
Cnuimheag,  Burn  of  Worms  ;  Bealach  nam  Brog, 
Pass  of  the  Brogues;  a  more  recent  battle  (1719) 
has  left  its  mark  in  Sgurr  nan  Spainteach,  Peak  of 


the  Spaniards.  Cadha  na  Mine,  Path  of  the  Meal, 
and  other  names  near  it,  are  connected  with  the  '45. 
Leac  na  Saighid  and  Sgurr  na  Saighid  recall  old 
feats  of  archery.  One  of  the  most  interesting  names 
is  Scotsburn,  G.  Allt  nan  Albanach,  in  connection 
with  which  are  Cam  nam  Marbh,  Dead  men's  Cairn  ; 
Lochan  a'  Chlaidheimh  and  Bearnas  a'  Chlaidheimh, 
Sword  Lochlet  and  Sword  Cleft.  That  a  consider- 
able battle  was  fought  here  is  practically  certain  ; 
also  that  Albanaich,  "  Scotfcis  men,"  were  engaged 
in  it.  The  curious  thing  is  that  the  burn  should 
have  been  named  from  the  Albanaich,  Scots,  and 
not  from  their  opponents,  as  might  have  been 
expected.  It  looks  as  if  from  the  standpoint  of  the 
namers  the  Albanaich  were  regarded  as  strangers. 
They  may  have  been  Lowland  Scots. 

The  great  Pictish  name  Nectan  appears  in  the 
obsolete  Dalvanachtan,  i.e.,  Nectan's  davach,  also  in 
Cadha  Neachdain,  Nectan's  Path.  The  latter  is  one 
of  the  many  steep  paths  in  Nigg  Rocks,  and  from  the 
fact  that  near  it  is  a  cave  called  Uamh  an  Righ,  the 
King's  Cave,  one  is  inclined  to  connect  it  with  the 
Pictish  King  Nectan,  son  of  Derili,  who  flourished 
circ.  715.  This  king  had  a  remarkable  and 
chequered  career,  one  of  the  incidents  in  which  was 
his  joining  the  Church  or  becoming  a  recluse.  The 
scene  of  his  clericatus  is  unknown,  but  it  may  be 
plausibly  conjectured  that  he  spent  some  part  of  it 
in  Uamh  an  Righ. 

The  great  forest  or  hunting  ground  of  Freevater, 
G.  Frith  Bhatair,  Walter's  Forest,  in  which  Leabaidh 

Ixxxiv.        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

Rhatair,  Walter's  Bed,  occurs  twice,  most  probably 
derives  its  name  from  Walter,  that  son  of  the  fourth 
Earl  of  Eoss  who  fell  at  Bannockburn,  v.  p.  12. 

Glaic  an  Righ  Chonanaich,  Hollow  of  the  Strath  - 
conon  King,  is  a  somewhat  surprising  name,  for 
which  v.  p.  249.  The  West  Coast  names  are  rich  in 
references  to  local  men  and  events  of  note.  Of 
legendary  heroes  we  have  Fionn,  Diarmad,  and 
Oscar,  all  of  the  Fenian  cycle.  The  widely  spread 
story  of  Diarmad's  tragic  death  is  located  with  con- 
siderable circumstance  in  Kintail.  A  reference  to 
Fionn  seems  to  be  contained  in  Suidheachan  Fhinn. 
Fenian  legends  are  attached  to  Feith  Chuilisg, 
Loch  Lurgainn,  Cnoc  Farrel,  Clach  nan  Con  Fionn, 
Coulin,  but  several  of  these  have  obviously  been 
invented  to  explain  the  names.  The  Fenians  appear 
in  Coire  na  feinne,  and  legends  of  their  huntings 
are  connected  with  Sgurr  nan  Conbhairean.  The 
hero  Oscar's  name  is  found  in  Buillean  Osyair, 
Oscar's  Strokes — certain  claisean  or  gaps  on  Little 
Lochbroom.  From  the  great  battles  of  modern  time 
we  get  Camperdown,  Waterloo  (near  Dingwall),  and 
Balaclava  (or  Balnuig).  Maryburgh,  near  Dingwall, 
was  named  from  Queen  Mary,  wife  of  William  of 
Orange.  A  good  deal  of  fancy  nomenclature  has 
arisen  in  Easter  Ross  within  the  last  century  and  a 
half,  e.g.,  Mountgerald,  Mountrich,  Petley,  Arabella, 
Invergordon,  and  others,  in  English — not  to  the 
same  extent  in  Gaelic — displacing  the  old  names. 

Under  this  head  may  be  noted  our  one  certain 
instance  of  druid/i,  a  Druid,  viz.,  Port  an  Druidh, 


the  Druid's  Port,  with  Cadha  Port  an  Druidh,  the 
Druid's  path  near  it,  both  in  Nigg,  old  names  doubt- 
less. The  term  druineach,  which  occurs  with  us  in 
Airigh  nan  Druineach,  Cladh  nan  Druineach, 
Druineachan,  Poll  and  Drochaid  Druineachan  is 
frequent  elsewhere,  e.g.,  Cam  nan  Seachd  Druin- 
eachan in  Glen  Fin  tag,  Inistrynich  is  Lochawe, 
Cladh  nan  Druineach  in  lona,  Tigh  Talmhaidh  nan 
Druineach  (Earth  House  of  the  D.),  a  round  house  or 
broch  in  Assynt.  The  word  is  sometimes  equated 
with  druidh;ii  is  based  on  O.  Ir.,  druin,  glossed 
glicc,  wise,  clever  ;  and  druinech  in  Ir.  means  an  em- 
broideress.  'The  exact  significance  of  it  in  our  place 
names  is  far  from  clear.  Logan1  takes  it  to  mean 
cultivators  of  the  soil  as  opposed  to  hunters,  which 
may  represent  a  genuine  tradition.  Martin  makes 
mention  of  little  round  stone  houses  in  Skye  capable 
only  of  containing  one  person,  and  called  "  Tey-nin- 
druinich,  i.e.,  Druids'  House."  Druineach,  says 
Martin,  signifies  a  retired  person  much  devoted  to 

Some  miscellaneous  terms  omitted  above  follow. 
Croit,  a  croft,  with  its  variants  creit,  crait,  cruit,  is 
common  in  Easter  Ross.  The  Exchequer  Eolls 
supply  an  interesting  record  of  the  crofts  held  by 
the  minor  officials  of  a  great  castle,  v.  p.  146.  Linne, 
besides  meaning  a  pool  in  a  river,  is  used  to  denote 
a  part  of  the  sea  near  the  shore,  also  a  bay.2  Crasg, 
a  crossing,  generally,  if  not  always,  applies  to  a 

1  Scottish  Gael,  II.,  72  (ed.,  Dr  Stewart). 
2  The  Greek  equivalent  At/xv?/  has  exactly  the  same  meanings  in  Homer. 

Ixxxvi.        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

crossing  over  a  ridge.  Gasg,  diminutive  gasgan,  is 
explained  at  p.  208.  Cadha  is  usually  a  steep, 
narrow  path,  but  is  sometimes  applied  to  steep  parts 
of  a  regular  road,  e.g.,  an  Cadha  Beag  and  an  Cadha 
M6r,  near  Gruinard.  By  Bac  we  mean  in  E.  Ross  a 
peat  moss  ;  in  the  west  the  primary  sense  of  bank, 
ridge,  is  preserved  ;  Norse  bakki.  Grianan  means 
a  sunny  hillock,  or  a  place,  e.g.,  good  for  drying 
peats.  Roinn,  a  point,  occurs  in  Roinn  an  Fhaing 
Mhoir.  Botag  is  a  wet  or  soft  channel  in  a  peat 
moss.  Rabhan,  after  much  search,  I  took  to  mean 
water  lily,  and  from  one  description  of  it  that  seemed 
correct.  But  another  and  better  authority  had  no 
hesitation  in  defining  it  as  a  long  grass  growing  in 
shallow,  muddy  parts  of  lochs  or  pools,  and  formerly 
used  for  feeding  cattle,  an  account  of  it  which  I 
have  had  since  confirmed  beyond  doubt.  The  word 
is  almost  certainly  a  Pictish  loan,  to  be  compared 
with  Welsh  rhafu,  to  spread  ;  rhqfon,  berries 
growing  in  clusters.  It  occurs  frequently  in  Suther- 
land place-names.  A  similar  kind  of  grass  growing 
in  pools  and  lochs  is  barranach,  from  l>arr,  top. 






Kincardine — Kyncardyri  1275 — G.  Ciim-chardain  ; 
'  cinn'  is  the  locative  case  of  '  ceann,'  head ;  cardain 
is  of  common  occurrence  in  names  on  Pictish  ground, 
cf.  Adamnan's  Airchartdan,  now  Glen-Urquhart, 
Plus-carden,  Carden-den,  and  the  various  Kin- 
cardines  and  Urquharts.  Though  not  found  in 
Gaelic,  it  appears  in  Welsh  as  '  cardden,'  a  wood, 
brake,  whence  Kin-cardine  means  Wood-head  or 
Wood-end.  The  name  originally  110  doubt 
applied  only  to  the  immediate  neighbourhood  of 
the  church  ;  whence  it  extended  to  the  district 
served  by  the  church,  i.e.,  the  parish.  Such  is 
the  origin  of  most  parish  names.  The  parish  falls 
into  two  divisions :  the  part  drained  by  the 
Carron  and  its  feeders,  and  the  part  beyond  the 
watershed,  toward  Sutherland.  We  shall  begin 
with  the  former. 

Carron — There  are  two  rivers  Carron  in  Ross,  and 
some  half-dozen  elsewhere  in  Scotland,  all  char- 
acterised by  roughness  of  channel.  The  root  is 
kars,  rough,  and,  on  the  analogy  of  Gaulish  rivers 



such  as  the  Matrona,  the  primitive  form  of  Carron 
would  have  been  Carsona.  It  is  doubtless  pre- 
Gaelic,  that  is  to  say,  Pictish  ;  cf.  Carseoli  in 

Pools  in  Carron  are :  Poll  na  muic,  sow's 
pool,  opposite  Gledfield  ;  pott  a  ckapuill,  horse 
pool,  near  Braelangwell ;  linne  sgainne,  pool  of 
the  burst,  a  large  dam-like  pool  opposite  Dounie  ; 
poll  an  donnaidh,  pool  of  the  mishap  ;  poll  an 
t-slugaid,  pool  of  the  gulp  or  swallow.  With  the 
last  named  we  may  connect  Braghlugudi,  which 
appears  in  1529  as  belonging  to  the  Abbey  of 
Fearn,  and  no  doubt  refers  to  the  braighe  or  brae- 
face  above  the  pool.  In  1623  appears  "  part  of 
Carron  called  Polmorral,"  still  known  as  Poll- 
moral.  Mr  Macdonald  (Place-names  of  West 
Aberdeenshire)  collects  the  following  instances  of 
this  name  :  Balmoral,  Polmorral  on  Dee  near 
Banchory,  Morall  in  Stratherne,  Drummorrell  in 
Wigtown,  Morall  and  Lynn  of  Morall  in  the  lord- 
ship of  Urquhart,  Morall  mor  and  Morall  beag  on 
Findhorn.  Mr  Macdonald  suggests  mor  choille, 
great  wood,  which  is  far  from  suiting  the 
phonetics.  The  examples  collected  above  may 
not  all  be  of  the  same  origin  (Morel  at  Tomatin, 
for  instance,  is  in  Gaelic  Moirl),  but  the  second 
part  of  Poll-mbral  above  can  hardly  be  other  than 
moral,  majestic,  noble.  The  pool  in  question  is 
one  of  the  largest  on  the  river.  Craigpolskavane 
appears  on  record  in  1619,  and  appears  to  refer 
to  a  pool  somewhere  below  Craigs,  near  Amat. 
There  is  a  Loch  Sgamhain  in  Strathbran. 


Esbolg — Waterfall  of  bubbles,  appears  on  record  in 
1657.  On  one  of  T.  Font's  maps  it  is  located  on 
the  river  now  known  as  the  Blackwater,  which 
joins  the  Carron  at  Amat,  but  on  the  old  map 
called  Ayneck  (perhaps  from  confusion  with  the 
Eunag,  a  tributary  of  the  Oykell).  There  is  a 
large  waterfall  on  this  stream  near  Croick,  now 
Eas  a'  mhuilinn.  Perhaps,  therefore,  Esbolg  is 
the  "Big  Fall"  on  Carron.  Balgaidh,  bubbly 
stream,  is  the  name  of  a  river  in  Applecross  ; 
cf.  also  the  better  known  Strathbhalgaidh, 
Strathbogy.  Working  from  the  eastern  part  of 
the  parish  along  the  south  side  of  Carron,  we  have 

Ardchronie,  G.  ard-chronaidh,  an  obscure  name  ; 
ard,  of  course,  means  height  or  promontory  ; 
cronaidh  may  be  from  either  cron,  dark  brown,  or 
cron,  a  hollow,  both  found  in  Irish  names.  Dr 
Joyce  gives  Ardcrone  in  Kerry  as  meaning  brown 
height,  and  Ardcrony  appears  in  the  "  Four 

Gradal — G.  Gradal,  Norse  Gra-dalr,  gray  dale  ;  now 
usually  called  Badvoon. 

Allt  Eiteachan — (O.S.M.  Allt  na  h-eiteig),  probably 
from  eiteach,  root  of  burnt  heather.  Hence 
'  an  fheill  eiteachan,'  the  Kincardine  market.1 

1  The  old-established  Feill  Eiteachan,  the  winter  market  still  held  at 
Ardgay,  is  said  to  owe  its  name  to  a  certain  quartz  stone  (clach  eiteag),  the 
old  custom  being  that  the  market  was  held  wherever  this  stone  happened  to 
be  at  the  time.  The  stone  was  sometimes  shifted  west  by  the  Assynt  men, 
and  east  by  the  men  of  Ross,  but  finally  it  was  built  into  the  wall  of  the  pre- 
sent Balnagown  Arms  Hotel  at  Ardgay,  and  so  the  market  has  ever  since  been 
held  there.  I  give  the  story  for  what  it  is  worth.  Ma  's  breug  bhuam  e,  is 
breug  thugam  e.  But  eiteachan  cannot  be  based  on  e"iteag,  which  is  a  loan 
word  from  English  hectic  (Macbain). 


Tigh'mhadaidh — Dog's  (or  wolfs)  house. 
An  garbh  choille — The  rough  wood. 

Ardgay — G.  ard  gaoith,  windy  height.  A  deed, 
granted  in  1686  to  erect  it  into  a  burgh  of  barony, 
was  never  carried  into  effect. 

Near  it  is  Cam  Deasgan, apparently  the  remains 
of  a  broch.  There  are  numerous  mounds  near  it. 
Less  than  half-a-mile  away  is  Cnoc  ruigh  gricg, 
hill  of  the  pebbly  slope.  It  bears  marks  of  forti- 
fication on  its  western  brow,  and  this  side  is 
studded  with  tumuli. 

BadaVOOn — G.  bad  a'  mhun  ('  n '  long).  This  is 
the  highest  lying  place  with  traces  of  cultivation 
in  the  locality.  '  Mun,'  with  long  '  n,'  seems  to 
be  a  dialectic  form  of  '  muine,'  just  as  '  dun,'  with 
long  '  n,'  is  heard  for  '  duine ;'  muine  means, 
according  to  O'Reilly,  thorn,  brake,  mountain,  and 
the  last,  if  it  can  be  relied  on,  would  suit  the 
situation — mountain  clump,  Joyce,  however, 
gives  muine  only  in  the  sense  of  '  brake/  and 
Lhuyd  has  it  '  thorn-tree  ;'  cf.  Bad  a'  mhuin  bheag 
and  Bad  a'  mhuin  mhor  in  Coigach. 

Gledfield — A  translation  of  G.  leth'-chlamhaig,  half 
(i.e.,  half-strath)  of  the  buzzard.  The  word 
is  usually  clamhan,  a  masculine  diminutive, 
while  clamhag  is  of  feminine  form.  The  place  is 
known  also  as  eloii  na  speireig,'  sparrow-hawk 
mead,  but  the  other  form  is  supported  by  the 
records:  Lachelawak,  1529;  Lawchclawethe,  1561, 
as  belonging  to  the  Abbey  of  Fearn  ;  Lachclawy, 
1606  ;  Lachclaveig,  1643.  A  third  form  given  me 


is  Leac  'chlamhaig,  which  also  satisfies  the  written 
An  t-sean  bhaile — Old  town,  a  very  common  name. 

Clais  a'  bhaid  choille — Wood-clump  dell. 

L6n  dialtaig — Bat-meadow  (Upper  Gledfield). 

Dounie — Dun,  fort,  with  extension.  There  are  traces 
<  >f  an  ancient  fort. 

Ruigh  na  meinn — Ore-slope.  The  epithet  '  na 
meinn;  literally  '  of  ore,'  is  usually  applied  to 
places  where  the  water  shows  signs  of  oxide  of 

An  airigh  fhliuch — The  wet  shieling. 

Alitan  Domhnuill — Donald's  burn. 

Gruhiard  or  Greenyards,  Croinzneorth  1450,  Grain - 
yord  1528  ;  Norse  grunnfjorcSr,  shallow  firth  ;  cf. 
Gruinard  in  Loch  broom  and  Gruineart  in  Islay. 

Na  h-6rdan— The  heights,  from  ard,  high.  The 
common  tendency  to  change  'a'  into  'o'  is  par- 
ticularly strong  in  Strathcarron. 

An  fhanaieh — The  declivity;  fariach,  of  which 
fanaich  is  locative,  is  a  derivative  of  fan,  a  gentle 
slope,  which  is  itself  a  common  element  in  place- 
names,  e.g.,  Balnain  (but  Balnain  in  Badenoch  is 
beul  an  iithain,  ford-mouth)  ;  cf.  also  na  fana,  the 
Fendom,  Tain. 

Bun  an  f  huarain— Well-foot. 

Croit  na  caillich— Old  wife's  croft. 

Dal  na  era — Dale  of  the  (sheep)  fold,  or,  possibly, 
cruive  ;  era  is  a  variant  of  cro,  and  is  here 
feminine,  if,  indeed,  it  is  not,  as  it  may  well  be,  for 
dal  nan  era  (gen.  pi.) 


Grianbhad — ?  Sun  clump ;  but  it  may  be  Norse 
grunn-vatn,  shallow  loch. 

Dalbhearnaidh— Dale  of  the  cleft. 

Bail*  an  achaidh— Town  (i.e.,  homestead)  of  the 
cultivated  field. 

Amat— Amayde  1429  ;  Almet  1643,  G.  amait,  from 
Norse  a-mot,  river-meet,  confluence,  to  wit,  of  the 
Carron  and  the  Blackwater  rivers.  There  are  also 
Amat  in  Strath-Oykel  and  Amat  in  Strath-na- 
sealg,  Brora,  while  the  records  show  an  Amot  in 
North  Kintyre  1643  (Eeg.  Mag.  Sig.),  in  Islay 
1614.  Amat  in  Strathcarron  is  in  two  divisions, 
Amat  iia'  tuath  (of  the  husbandmen)  to  the  south 
of  the  Carron,  and  Amat  na  h-eaglais  (of  the 
church)  on  the  north  side.  There  is  still  a 
tradition  of  a  church  having  once  stood  on  the 
'claigionn,'  above  the  present  Lodge,  and  in  1609 
there  appears  '  Amott  Abbot  under  the  barony  of 
Ganyes,  called  of  old  the  Abbacy  of  Fearn ' ;  also 
in  1611  Ammotegiis,  and  Amad  Heglis,  T.  Pont. 
1608.  The  spelling  Almet  is  of  no  significance 
beyond  that  the  '  1 '  shows  that  the  initial  vowel 
is  long. 

BaiP  an  fhraoich — Heather-stead. 

Baile  Chaluim — Maicolm's-stead. 

Bail'  an  dounie — G.  bail'  an  donnaidh,  town  of  the 
mishap.  Near  it  is  a  pool  in  Carron,  poll  un 
donnaidh,  so  called,  doubtless,  from  some  drowning 

Bail*  an  loin — Town  of  the  damp  meadow. 

Baile  mheadhonach — Mid-town. 


Bail'  uachdarach — Upper-town. 
Dal-ghiuthais — Fir  dale. 

An  garbh  allt— The  rough  burn. 

Gar  nan  aighean — Thicket  of  hinds ;   from  gar 

comes  the  diminutive  garan,  thicket.  On  it  is 
Drochaid  chaolaig,  bridge  of  the  little  narrow 
place,  over  the  Carron.  The  green  place  (lub)  on 
the  Glencalvie  side  was  known  as  bail'  bean  an 
dro'idich,  town  of  the  bridge-wife,  but  a  still 
older  name  for  it  is  said  to  have  been  Tuitim- 
tairbheach.  There  may  be  here  a  confusion  with 
the  well-known  place  of  that  name  at  Oykell  :  my 
informant  was  born  and  bred  at  Gar  nan  aighean. 
Also  Coylum.  i.e.,  cumhang-leum,  narrow  leap  ; 
cf.  Cuilich  in  Rosskeen. 

Glencalvie — G.  Gleann  Cailbhidh,  cf.  Loch  Cail- 
bhidh  in  Lochalsh.  A  Glencalvie  man  (there  are 
still  such,  but  not  in  the  Glen),  is  known  as  a 
'  Cailbheach.'  Glencalvie  was,  and  is,  noted  for 
its  herbage,  and  so  are  the  shores  of  Loch  Calvie  : 
the  root  may  therefore  be  calbh,  colbh,  plant- 
stalk  ;  Ir.  colba,  wand ;  Latin  culmus,  stalk, 
calamus,  reed. 

Coire  mhaileagan — V.  Glenshiel.  The  waterfall 
at  the  mouth  of  the  Corry  was  given  by  two 
informants,  both  natives  of  Glencalvie,  as  Eas 
caraidh  and  Eas  cadaidh. 

Dibidale— '  The  half-davach  of  DebadailT  1623, 
G.  Diobadal,  from  Norse  djupr,  deep ;  dalr,  dale, 
djiipidalr,  '  deep-dale,'  which  accurately  describes 
this  beautiful,  but  now  solitary,  glen.  There  is  a 


Glen  Dibidil  in  Rum,  Mull,  Skye,  and  Lewis ; 
cf.  also  Diabaig,  Gairloch. 

Sallachy — Salki  1529,  on  record  as  pasture  land  of 
the  Abbey  of  Fearn ;  from  saileach,  the  old  form 
of '  seileach,'  willow  ;  Ir.  sail,  saileog,  with  meaning 
'  place  of  willows.'  For  formation  cf.  Lat.  salictum, 
from  salicetum,  a  willow  copse,  cf.  Sallachy  on 
Loch  Shin,  Sallachy  in  Lochalsh,  Sauchie-burii ; 
also  Salachar  in  Applecross,  Salacharaidh,  Loch 
Nevis.  At  the  head  of  Strathcarron,  forking  off 
to  the  right,  is 

Alladale — G.  Aladal,  probably  Ali's  dale,  from  Ali, 
a  Norse  personal  name. 

Glenmore — Glenmoir,  1619  ;  great  glen. 

Deanich — G.  an  dianaich,  the  steep  place  ;  a  locative 
of  dianach  from  dian,  steep,  a  name  which  well 
fits  the  place. 

Meaghlaich — A  place  where  the  road  crosses  by  a 
ford  to  Dianich  ;  locative  of  mang-lach,  place  of 
fawns  ;  cf.  coire  na  meagh,  between  Dibidale  and 
Lochan  a*  Chairn.  On  one  of  Pout's  maps  it  is 
marked  Meuloch.  Above  it  is  srbn  'n  ngaidh. 
Near  it  is 

An  giuthais  mosach — Pout's  Gewish  Moussach ; 

Gyrissmissachie  1619,  Reg.  Mag.  Sig.  (where  the 
transcriber  is  surely  at  fault),  the  nasty  fir  wood. 

Tordigean  :  oigean,  from  6g,  young,  is  used  as  a, 
sort  of  nick-name ;  the  name  therefore  means 
Oigean's  torr,  or  the  youth's  knoll.  On  the  north 
side  of  the  Carroii  we  have 

InvercaiTOn — Estuary  of  the  Carron. 


Baile  na  COite — Boat-town  ;    cf.   Sron   iia  coite  on 

Loch  Maree. 

Langwell— Norse,  lang-vollr,  long-field. 
Cornhill — G.  Ciioc  an  airbh ;  Knokinarrow,  1642; 

O.   Ir.  arbe,  corn  ;  later  Ir.  arbar,  genitive  arba, 

whence    our   modern    Gaelic  arbhar.      The  form 

'  arbh  "  occurs  also  in  Cnoc  an  airbh,  Urray,  and 

in  Ard-arbha,  Lochalsh. 
Syal— Seoll  1578,  Soyall  1642;  G.  saoidheal ;  locally 

explained  as  '  suidhe  fala,'  seat  of  blood  ;  but  it  is 

Norse  sau'Sa-vollr,  sheep-meadow. 
Clllvokie — G.    culbhocaidh  ;    hobgoblin's    nook  ;    it 

has  an  uncanny  reputation  ;  so  has  Poll-bhocaidh 

at  the  foot  of  Glenmore  ;  cf  Culboky  in  Ferintosh. 
Cadearg — G.  an  cadha  dearg,  the  red  steep  path. 
Culeave— G.   Cul-liabh,  apparently  for  cul-shliabh, 

back  (or   nook)  of  the   mountain    moor  ;    cf.    for 

formation  Cul-charn,  Culcairn. 
Balnacurach — Town  of  the  curachs  or  hide  boats  ; 

cf.  Balnacoit  above. 
Hilton — Bail'  a  chnuic. 
Corvest — G.  coire-bheist  (accented  on  first  syllable), 

locally  explained  as  '  the  monster's  corry.'     There 

is  a  very  deep  gully   at   the  place,   which  gives 

colour  to  this,  but  the  accent  is  against  it. 
An  t-allt  domhainn- — Deep  burn,  flowing  through 

the  corry  just  mentioned. 
Braelangwell — -G.    braigh-langail,     upper    part    of 

Bard  an  asairidh— Asair,  or  fasair,  good  pasture  : 

bard  is  a  somewhat  uncommon  word,  but  known 


in  Badenoch  in  the  sense  of '  meadow.'  In  Boath, 
Alness  is  Bard  nan  laogh,  and  in  Glen-Urquhart 
is  a  meadow  called  '  the  Bard.'  The  present  name 
therefore  means  '  the  meadow  of  good  pasture.' 
Near  Bard  nan  laogh  in  Boath  there  is  curiously 
enough  '  an  asaireadh,'  the  Assarow.  Bard  seems 
borrowed  from  Norse  bar^,  meaning  first,  beard, 
then  fringe,  edge  (cf.  a  hill,  etc.,)  hence  applied  to 
the  land  on  the  edge  of  a  river,  which  is  the 
situation  of  the  Strathcarron,  Boath,  and  Glen- 
Urquhart  '  bards.' 

Scuitchal— Scuittechaell  1642,  Skuittichaill  1657, 
?  Skatwell  1584,  Skuddachall,  Pont,  G.  Sguit- 
chathail.  Scuit  is  a  locative  of  sgot,  a  piece  of 
land  cut  off  from  another,  a  small  farm  ;  cf.  the 
Scottish  '  shot,'  a  spot  or  plot  of  ground.  The 
second  part  of  the  compound  is  most  probably  the 
personal  name  Cathal,  Cathel,  the  meaning  of  this 
being  Cathel's  section  or  croft. 

CraigS — G.  Tigh  iia  creige,  Rock-house,  from  the 
rocky  hill  behind  it.  Font's  map  shows  Kreig- 
skaweii  about  this  spot,  and  in  1619  we  have 

Glaschoille — Green  wood  ;  Glaischaill  1619. 

Lub-conich — Mossy  bend. 

Lllb-na-meinn — Bend  of  the  ore  (irony  water). 

Letters — Na  leitrichean,  the  hill  slopes. 

Croick — G.  a  chroic  ;  '  gillean  iia  croic  '  occurs  in  a 
Strathcarron  song  ;  the  word  is  thus  feminine. 
It  may  be  a  locative  of  croc,  an  antler,  thus 
meaning  'a  branching  glen,  or  side  glen,'  which 


would  suit  the  locality  ;  a  locative  of  crog,  paw, 
hand,  is  also  possible,  in  which  sense  the  common 
'  glaic '  might  be  compared.  The  latter  meaning 
suits  the  Croick  in  Glencasley,  Sutherland.  A 
diminutive  of  cro,  sheep-fold,  has  been  suggested, 
but  the  difficulty  here  is  that  cro,  being  masculine, 
would  give  cro-an,  unless,  indeed,  we  may  sup- 
pose cro  to  have  been  dialecticaily  feminine. 

Strathcuillionach  means  as  it  stands,  'holly 
strath  ;'  there  is,  however,  a  strong  local  tradition 
that  the  older  Gaelic  was  '  srath  cuireanach,' 
from  '  car '  a  turn  ;  hence,  winding  strath.  The 
stream  which  flows  through  it  is  certainly  very 
winding,  and  the  change  from  '  r '  to  '  1 '  is  quite 
possible.  In  its  upper  reaches  this  stream  is 
called  Allt  a  glilais  citha,  burn  of  the  wan  ford. 
In  the  high  ground  adjoining  Strathcarroii  are 

Garvary — G.  garbhairigh,  rough  shieling.  The 
termination  -ary  is  usually  best  regarded  as  an 
extension  of  the  adjective,  but  as  there  actually 
were  shielings  at  Garvary,  it  may  be  taken  as 

Meall  na  CUachaige — Cuckoo  hill ;  possibly  hill  of 
the  little  '  cuach,'  or  cup-shaped  hollow. 

Meall  Bhenneit — Apparently  Bennet's  Hill;  cf. 
Bennetfield  in  the  Black  Isle,  G.  Baile  Bhenneit. 

Coire  bog — The  wet  or  soft  cony. 

Sron  na  saobhaidhe — Point  of  the  den ;  usually 
called  sron  saobhaidhe. 

Carn  Bhren — So  often  in  Gaelic,  but  a  Glen- 
calvie  man,  who  ought  to  know,  called  it  Cam 


Bhreathainn.  There  is  a  legend  connecting  it 
with  Fingal's  dog  Bran.  He  entered  a  cairn 
there,  and  was  never  seen  again.  It  means 
Raven's  Cairn. 

Cam  salach — 'Dirty'  cairn,  from  the  broken  and 
boggy  nature  of  its  surface. 

Cam  an  liath-bhaid — Hill  of  the  grey  clump. 
Creag  na   ceapaich — Rock   of  the   tillage  plot. 

Ceapach  (Keppoch)  is  one  of  the  commonest 
names  in  the  Highlands. 

Cnoc  na  Tuppat — Locally  derived  from  the  English 
tippet,  from  the  appearance  of  the  vegetation  on 
its  rounded  top ;  but  it  is  more  likely  from  *  tap,' 
a  rounded  mass  or  lump,  which  gives  in  Ireland 
Topped,  Tapachan,  Toppan,  £c.  (Joyce). 

Creag  Riaraidh— So  the  O.S.M.,  but  G.  creag(a)- 

raoiridh,  the  rocky  termination  of  the  ridge  behind 
the  old  lodge  of  Glendibidale.  There  is  in  Tarbat 
a  famous  cave  called  toll-raoiridh,  and  below 
Achtercairn,  Gairloch,  is  Leac  raoiridh.  This 
somewhat  difficult  name  may  be  from  roithreim 
(O'.R.)  a  rushing  (ro,  very,  and  rethim,  run),  and 
may  have  reference  to  the  very  stormy  nature  of 
the  place. 

Leaba  Bhaltair— Always  called  Leabaidh  Bhatair, 
Walter's  Bed,  is  on  a  hill  on  the  south  side  of 
Glendibidale.  There  is  another  similar  place 
bearing  the  same  name  on  Alladale  ground. 
Who  the  Walter  in  question  was  may  be  con- 
sidered doubtful ;  but  in  any  case  the  name 
must  be  connected  with  Frivater,  '  fridh  Bhatair.' 
or  Walter's  forest.  The  probability  is,  and  1 


believe  there  is  a  tradition  to  the  effect,  that  the 
Walter  whose  name  we  find  among  these  wild 
hills  was  one  of  the  early  Rosses  of  the  line  of 
Ferchar  Mac  an  t-sagairt.  The  name  is  old,  for  it 
is  stated  in  the  Chronicle  of  the  Earls  of  Ross 
that  Paul  Mactyre  (fl.  circ.  1360)  acquired  inter 
alia  Friewatter.  Sir  Walter  Ross,  son  of  William, 
the  fourth  Earl,  fell  at  Bamiockburn,  and,  as  he 
was  evidently  a  noted  man,  being  recorded  as  the 
dear  friend  of  Edward  Bruce,  he  may  be  the 
eponymus  of  Walter's  Bed  and  Walter's  Forest. 
The  next  choice  would  be  Sir  Walter  de  Lesley, 
who  married  Euphemia,  daughter  of  William,  the 
sixth  Earl,  and  regarding  whom  William,  in  1371, 
addresses  a  '  querimonia '  to  King  Robert  II., 
complaining  of  the  way  in  which  his  lands  had 
been  given  to  Lesley.  But  the  reference  in  the 
Chronicle  of  the  Earls  of  Ross,  though  perhaps 
not  decisive,  points  to  the  existence  of  the  name 
before  Sir  Walter  de  Lesley's  time.  With  regard 
to  Paul  Mactyre,  I  may  say  in  passing  that  tradi- 
tion makes  him  a  freebooter.  He  may  have  been, 
and  probably  was,  a  man  of  his  hands,  but  he  is 
said  to  have  been  a  great-grandson  of  the  King  of 
Denmark,  and  he  certainly  married  the  niece  of 
Hugh  of  Ross,  Lord  of  Fylorth,  and  obtained  the 
lands  of  Gairloch  by  grant  of  William,  Earl  of 
Ross,  in  1366  ;  and  in  1365,  by  grant  of  Hugh  of 
Ross,  the  lands  of  '  Tutumtarvok,  Turnok,  Amot 
arid  Langvale  in  Strathokel.'  His  pedigree,  as 
given  by  Skene,  connects  him  closely  with  the 


Rosses  or  Clan  Anrias,  for  it  makes  him  fourth  in 
descent  from  Gilleanris  (modern  Gillanders).  He 
was  therefore  highly  connected,  and  held  a 
respectable  position,  and  his  descendants,  the 
Poisons,  have  no  reason  to  feel  ashamed  of  him. 

Creag  Illie— G.  Creag-illidh.  ;  Illie '  has  exactly  the 
same  sound  as  in  Bun-illigh,  Helmsdale,  where  it 
represents  Ila,  the  Ptolemaic  name  of  the  Helms- 
dale  river.  Creag  Illie  stands  just  about  the  west 
end  of  Glendibidale,  not  far  from  the  source  of  the 
stream,  now  nameless,  which  runs  through  the 
glen,  and  though,  of  course,  the  case  does  not 
admit  of  certainty,  'Illie'  may  here  also  be  the  old 
river  name ;  cf.  the  rivers  Isla,  and  for  root 
German  *  eilen,'  to  hurry.  Cf.  also  G.  '  ealadh ' 
(Macbain's  Diet.). 

Creag  Ruadh — The  red  rock  ;  near  Creag  Illie. 

Dunach  liath — The  grey  place  of  dims  ;  Leac  Gorai, 
the  green  hillside ;  and  the  Dimaii  liath,  grey 
little  dun,  are  beyond  Coire  Mhalagan. 

Cam  Speireig — The  sparrow-hawk's  cairn. 

Leab'  a'  Bhruic — The  badger's  lair. 

Beinn  Tarsuinn — '  The  cross  hill,'  which  bars  the 
head  of  Dibidale  and  of  Coire  Mhalagan. 

Feur  mor — The  big  grass. 

Crom  Loch — The  bent  loch — descriptive  of  its  semi- 
circular shape. 

Lochan  Sgeireach — The  little  rocky  loch. 

Meall  na  Raineich — Hill  of  bracken. 

An  Socach — The  snouted  hill. 

Sr6n  gun  aran — Bread-less  point — a  quaint  name. 


Allt  a  mheirbh  ghiuthais— (O.S.M.,  allt  a  mhor 
ghiuthais).  T.  Pont,  phonetically  but  accurately, 
has  it  '  alt  very  gewish,'  '  burn  of  the  slender 
pine- wood.'  Mearbh  is  a  variant  of  meaiibh. 

Loch  Sruban — G.  Loch  Struaban.  '  Lochen  Strom- 
aniiach  so  cald  from  great  golden  beared  trowts ' 
(Pont).  What  'beared'  means  I  cannot  conjecture; 
the  letter  rendered  h  is  doubtful,  otherwise  the 
MS.  is  perfectly  clear.  It  is  interesting,  however, 
to  know  that  *  struabanach  math  brie '  is  still 
locally  used  to  denote  a  good-sized  trout,  such  as 
are  the  trout  of  Loch  Struaban.  The  root  may  be 
sruab,  to  make  a  paddling  noise  in  water  (H.S. 
Diet. ) ;  a  '  sruabanach '  would  thus  mean  a  fish 
that  lashes  the  water. 

Coire  mor — The  great  corry. 

Meall  am  madadh:  prop.    Meall  a'  Mhadaidh— 
Dog's,  or  perhaps  wolf's,  hill. 

Bodach  mor  and  Bodach  beag — The  big  and  the 

little  old  man. 

Meall  nam  fuaran— Hill  of  springs. 

Allt  a*  chlaiginn — Skull  burn.      A   '  claigionn '   is 

usually   a    skull-shaped   hill ;    but   sometimes    it 

means  the  best  field  of  a  farm. 
An  Sgaothach — '  Sgaoth,'  swarm  ;  place  of  swarms  ; 

cf.  '  sguabach,'  place  of  '  sweeps '  (of  wind). 
Allt  a'  ghuail — Coal  burn  ;  what  the  coal  is,  I  have 

not  learned  ;  but  cf.  meall  a'  ghuail. 

Creagloisgte — Burnt  rock. 

Carn  a'  choin  deirg — Cairn  of  the  red  dog. 


Sithean  ruarach — Sithean,  a  round  hill,  diminutive 
of  sith,  a  fairy  .seat ;  ruarach,  an  extension  ofruadh, 
red  ;  cf.  Ruarach  in  Kintail. 

Coir'  an  t-seilich — Willow  cony. 

Gnoc  an  tubaist — Hill  of  the  mischance. 

Corriemulzie — G.  coire  muillidh,  mill-corry ;  cf. 
Corriemulzie  in  Contin  and  in  W.  Aberdeenshire, 
Mulzie  in  Kiltarlity.  Mr  J.  Macdonald  suggests 
'  maoile,'  corry  of  the  hill  brow,  but  the  Gaelic 
pronunciation  at  once  negatives  this.  In  Corrie- 
mulzie, it  appears  from  local  information,  there 
were  at  one  time  or  other  no  fewer  than  seven 
mills,  the  sites  of  five  of  which  can  still  be  pointed 
out.  The  Garve  Corriemulzie  is  also  a  place  of 
old  habitation,  where  there  were,  doubtless,  mills. 
Muileann,  a  mill,  has  a  genitive  muilne,  which 
readily  becomes  muille. 

Abhainn  dubhach — Sad  river. 

Mullach  a'  chadha  bhuidhe — Stop  of  the  steep 

yellow  path. 

Allt  rappach — Noisy  or  dirty  burn. 
Creag  Eabhain — Gladsome  rock  ;  cf.  Beinn  Eibhimi 

in  Badenoch,  which  is  a  hill  with  good  outlook. 
Allt    Tarsumn — Cross   burn,    from   loch  na    bithe, 

pitch    loch   (from  pine  wood)  ;   cf.    Blarnabee    in 

Allt  COIF  an  ruchain — Probably  from  ruchan,  throat, 

Bullet ;  corry  of  the  throat,  a  narrow  opening. 
Strath  Seasgaich — Probably  a  derivative  of  '  seise,' 

reed,  seasgach,  loc.  seasgaich,  reedy  place.     There 

is  also  seasgach,  a  yeld  cow,  but  this  ought  to 

give  srath  na(n)  seasgach. 


Allt  Ealag — Ealag,  properly  eileag,  is  puzzling  ;  it 
looks  like  a  diminutive  of  the  feminine  proper 
name  Eilidh,  only  in  point  of  fact  this  diminutive 
does  not  seem  to  be  found.  It  may  well  be  from 
ail,  stone,  meaning  '  the  little  stony  burn.'  There 
is  also  Mointeach  Eileag,  a"  dreary  stretch  of 
moor  on  the  Lairg  and  Lochinver  road. 

SgOiman  m6r — The  great  lumps  ;  sgonn,  block, 

Loch  COir'  na  meidhe — There  is  meidh,  a  balance, 
arid  meidhe,  a  stem,  stock,  trunk,  the  latter  of 
which  is  more  likely  to  be  in  point  here. 

Coir*  a'  Chonachair—  Conachar  means  uproar  ;  also, 
a  sick  person  who  gets  neither  better  or  worse. 
It  may  be  the  proper  name  Conachar  ;  there  is 
really  no  means  of  determining  ;  cf.  Badach- 
onachair  in  Kilmuir  Easter. 

Lubcroy — G.  an  lub-chruaidh,  the  hard  bend  ; 
cruaidh  is  applied  to  hard,  stony  ground,  or  to 
firm  ground  as  opposed  to  bog. 

Oykell  has  been  happily  identified  with  Ptolemy's 
Ripa  Alta,  High  Bank,  the  exact  location  of  which 
has  long  been  matter  of  dispute.  It  must  also  be 
identified  with  the  Norse  Ekkjals-bakki,  i.e., 
Oykell  Bank,  which  Skene  strangely  makes  out  to 
be  the  Grampians.  Oykell  represents  the  Gaulish 
uxellos,  high,  seen  in  Uxello-duiium,  high  fort. 
The  word  appears  in  Celtic  in  two  forms — (l) 
Welsh  uchel,  high,  which  gives  the  Ochil  Hills 
and  Ochil-tree,  high  town  ;  (2)  Gaelic  uasal,  high, 
and,  without  the  -llo-  suffix,  uaise,  height,  majesty, 



whence  Beinn  Uaise,  Wyvis.  Oykell  follows  the 
Welsh  form.  It  will  thus  be  seen  that  Ptolemy's 
Kipa  Alta  is  a  part  translation  of  Oykel,  which  is 
echoed  by  the  Norse  Ekkjalsbakki.  The  word  for 
bank  is  gone,  but  it  evidently  existed  in  Ptolemy's 
time,  and  it  looks  as  if  it  survived  to  the  time  of 
the  Norse  occupation,  and  was  translated  by  the 
Norsemen  into  bakki.  It  is  worth  noting  that  the 
high  ground  on  the  Sutherland  side  of  the  Oykell 
estuary  is  Altas,  G.  Allt-ais,  an  extension  of  alt, 
eminence ;  cf.  Welsh  allt,  wooded  cliff,  hillside ; 
also  O.  Ir.  alltar,  heights. 

luveroykell  is  the  confluence  of  the  rivers  Oykell 
and  Casley. 

Einig— A  tributary  of  the  Oykell ;  G.  Eunag.  Pont 
makes  Avon  Ayneck  flow  into  the  Carron  at  Amat. 
Dr  Joyce  gives  ean,  water,  as  the  basis  of  eanach, 
a  marsh.  The  streams  falling  into  the  Eunag 
are — Allt  Eappach,  noisy  or  '  dirty '  bum  ; 
Abhainn  Poiblidh,  river  of  the  booth,  pubull ; 
Abhainn  Coire  Muillidh,  the  Corriemulzie  river  ; 
Abhainn  Dubhach,  the  sad  or  gloomy  river. 

Amat — At  the  junction  of  Eunag  and  Oykell ;  cf. 
Amat  in  Strathcarron  above.  The  Oykell  Amat 
was  distinguished  as  Amat  na  gullan,  i.e.,  na 
iicuilean,  of  the  whelps. 

Lochan  Phoil — Paul's  lochlet,  is  probably  a  remini- 
scence of  Paul  Mactyre,  who  held  these  lands,  as 
above  stated. 

Langwell — Cf.  Langwell,  Strathcarron. 

Beinn  Ulamhie — Cf.  ulbh  (Sutherland),  a  term  of 
reproach,  from  Norse  ulfr,  wolf. 



Meoir  Langwell — The  'branches'  of  Langwell;  i.e., 
hill  streams  that  converge  there. 

Loch  Mhic  Mharsaill  probably  contains  the  name 
of  a  son  of '  William  Mareschal,  armiger  to  Hugh 
of  Ross,'  who  was  granted  by  the  said  Hugh, 
between  1350  and  1372,  the  lands  of '  Dachynbeg 
in  Westray'  (Edderton)  for  good  and  faithful 
services.  He  received  also  lands  in  Tarbat  and 
elsewhere  ;  but  he  could  hardly  have  held  lands  in 
the  Oykell  district,  for  it  was  held  by  Paul  Mac- 
tyre.  This,  however,  does  not  necessarily  affect 
the  argument. 

Brae— G.  a  bhraigh. 

Doune — Downe,  1657  ;  a  township  on  the  Oykell  ; 
dun,  fort. 

Oape — 6b,  creek ;  Norse  hop ;  it  is  near  a  bend  in 
the  river  ;  cf.  Oban. 

Innis  nan  damh — Ox,  or  stag,  meadow  ;  cf  the 
other  well-known  Inshindamff. 

OchtOW — G.  an  t-ochdamh,  the  eighth-part,  to  wit, 
of  Davach-carbisdale  (1623),  which  included  most 
of  this  district. 

Birchfield — Formerly  Ach  na  h-uamhach,  field  of 
the  cave,  probably  from  the  chambers  of  the  broch, 
now  much  broken  down,  a  little  to  the  west  of  the 

Kilmachalmag — Sic  1548,  Colman's  cell ;  v.  Church 
names.  Within  a  short  distance  of  it,  011  the  edge 
of  the  wood,  is  the  foundation  of  what  seems  to 
have  been  a  broch  of  rather  small  diameter. 

Achnahannet — G.  achadh  na  h-annait,  field  of  the 
'  mother  church,'  v.  Church  names. 


An  ruigh  cruaidh — The  hard  slope. 
Meall  Deargaidh— G.  Meall  dheirgidh,  from  dear- 
gadh,  redness  ;  Hill  of  redness. 

Badandaraich — Oak  copse. 

Achnagart — Field"  of  the  corn  enclosure  ;  cf.  Garty, 

Creag  'Chait — Cat's  rock. 

Lamentation  Hill  (O.S.M.) — G.  creag  a'  ehoh in- 
each  an,  rock  of  the  mossy  place.  Cf  the  continu- 
ation of  the  "History  of  the  Earldom  of  Suther- 
land "  with  reference  to  the  defeat  of  Montrose, 
which  took  place  here  in  1650  : — 'This  miraculous 
victorie  hapned  the  twentie  seaventh  of  Aprill 
one  thousand  six  hundreth  fiftie  years  at  Craig- 
choynechan,  besides  Carbesdell.'  As  this  is  a 
contemporary  account,  it  effectually  disposes  of 
the  popular  notion,  officially  adopted  011  the  O.S. 
Map  as  above,  fthat  the  place  meant  Rock  of 
Lamentation  (Coineadh).  The  name  was  given 
long  before  the  battle  took  place. 

Poll  cas  gaibhre,  Goat's  foot  pool,  is  a  deep  rounded 
hollow  situated  near  the  Kyle  between  Stamag 
and  Riantyre  (ruigh  an  t-saoir,  the  carpenter's 
slope).  There  is  another  of  the  same  kind  near 
the  Church  of  Dunlichity,  Inverness.  These 
curious  cup-like  depressions  are  explained  as  the 
result  of  swallow-holes  in  glaciers. 

Culrain— Of  old  Carbisdale;  Carbustell,  1548.  The 
modern  name 'is  said  to  have  been  imposed  from 
Coleraine  in  Ireland.  Carbisdale  is  Norse  kjarr- 
bolsta<5r,  copse-stead,  with  the  suffix  dalr,  dale. 


Rhilonie— G.  ruigh  an  loin,  slope  of  the  wet  meadow. 

Balnallinsh — Town  of  the  meadow  ;  near  it  is  the 
site  of  Carn  nan  Conach  (O  S.M.  Carn  nan 

Achagllliosa — Gillies'  field ;  Sithean  an  Radhairc, 
Prospect  Hill. 

From  a  retour  of  1623  it  appears  that  at  that 
date  Strathkyle  (Slios  a'  Chaolais)  as  far  west  as 
Ochtow  was  included  under  the  term  Davocb- 
carbistell.  We  have  *  the  lands  of  Achnagart, 
belonging  to  Davoch-carbistell,'  also  'the  western 
bovate  of  Davoch-carbistell,  called  Ochtow,  with 
the  croft  and  arable  land  lying  near  the  Meikill 
Cairne,  called  Cairne  Croft,  above  the  east 
side  of  the  burn  called  Auldualeckach  under 
the  Barony  of  Kilmachalmag.'  The  names  of 
burn  and  croft  have  now  disappeared.  The 
Meikill  Cairne  perhaps  refers  to  the  Birchneld 
broch.  In  1657  we  have  'the  lands  of  Dal- 
vanachtan  [i.e.,  Davach-nachtan]  and  Downe, 
extending  to  six  davach  lands,  whereof  four 
davach  lands  lye  benorthe  the  water  of  Oichill 
and  two  davach  lands  on  the  south  side.'  Davach- 
nachtan  is  also  gone.  Nachtan  is,  of  course,  the 
personal  name  Nectan,  so  common  among  the 
Picts,  still  surviving  in  the  surname  Macnaughton. 
In  1619  (Reg.  Mag.  Sic.)  we  have  the  lands  of 
Auchnagullane,  Glaischaill,  and  Tormichaell ;  the 
forest  of  Frawatter,  adjacent  to  them ;  the  lands 
of  Glenmoir,  Glenbeg,  Drumvaiche,  Brynletter, 
Correvulzie,  Knokdaill,  Dovaik ;  the  lands  called 


'  the  thrie  Letteris,'  viz.,  Letterinay,  Letternaiche, 
Letterneteane,  and  Corremoir  under  the  said 
forest  of  Frewatter;  the  scheillings  of  Mullach, 
Craigpolskavane,  Gyrissmissachie,  Tokach,  Laik- 
garny,  Alladul  moir,  Straithfairne,  Alladill  na 
nathrach,  and  Cairnehondrig.  Pont  marks  Acha- 
nagullann  on  Avon  Ayneck,  near  Esbulg,  above 
noted.  Tormichaell  is  somewhere  in  Strathcarron. 
The  three  Letters  may,  perhaps,  be  Letters  noted 
above  ;  they  appear  to  stand  for  Leitir  an  fheiclh, 
Leitir  'n  eich,  and  Leitir  na  teine.  Mullach  is 
Meaghlaich  noted  above.  Craigpolskavane  seems 
to  be  the  present  Craigs.  Gyrissmissachie  is  An 
giuthais  mosach  above  noted.  Alladul  moir  and 
Alladul  na  nathrach  are  clear.  Cairnehondrig  is 
Cam  Sonraichte.  Brynletter,  Tokach,  Laikgarny, 
Drumvaiche  I  do  not  know.  The  fishing  of 
Acheferne  and  Stogok  1341  ;  Achnafearne  and 
Sloggake  1657.  Downlairne  1604  appears  on 
Font's  map  as  Downilaern,  a  little  west  of  Layd 
Clamag  (Gledfield). 



Edderton  —  Ederthayn  1275  ;  Eddirtane  1532  ; 
Eddirthane  1561  ;  G.  Eadardan,  with  accent  on 
eadar.  The  traditional  explanation  is  eadar-dun, 
between  forts.  In  confirmation  of  this  view  may 
be  adduced  the  various  brochs  referred  to  below 
and  the  hill  fort  of  Strathrory.  The  name 
applies  especially  to  the  part  near  the  old  church, 
now  the  U.F.  Church,  which  stands  on  the  left 
bank  of  Edderton  Burn,  and  it  would  seem  that 
the  old  name  for  the  district  as  a  whole  was 
Westray  ;  cf.  below  '  Dachynbeg  in  Westray '  and 
Blaeu's  Dunivastra. 

An  luachar  mhor — '  The  big  rashes '  (rushes),  a 
large  swampy  tract  of  moor. 

CHOC  an  t-sabhail — Barn-hill  ;  in  the  face  of  it, 
above  Raanieh,  is  clack  meadhon  latha,  mid-day 
stone.  There  are  two  stones,  some  distance  apart, 
and  which  of  the  two  is  the  real  mid-day  stone  is 
hard  to  say.  The  position  is  such  that  the  sun 
shines  on  them  about  noon. 

Raanich — G.  an  rathanaich ;  the  root  is  rath,  a 
circular  enclosure  or  fort,  the  rest  being  exten- 
sions (-n-ach),  meaning  '  place  of  raths.'  South 
of  Raanich  is  baile  namfuaran,  well- town. 

Ramore — G.  an  rath  mor,  the  great  rath.  These 
raths  were,  probably,  simply  farm-houses  fortified 


for  security  in  troublous  times.  Behind  Ramore 
is  an  linne  bhreac,  the  dappled  pool.  Near  it  is 

Galanaich,  from  gallan,  a  standing-stone.  There  is 
a  striking  perched  block  not  far  off ;  cf.  Gallanaich, 
Argyll  ;  Achagallbn  in  Arran. 

An  t-uisge  dubh — Black  water. 

Gadha  nan  damh  (O.S.M.  Casandamff) — Stags' 

Gluich  (Meikle  and  Little) — G.  an  glaodhaich  ; 
Glaodhaich  ard  agus  Glaodhaich  iosal ;  from 
glaodh,  glue,  E.  Ir.  glaed,  with  -ach  suffix  ;  hence 
the  soft,  sticky,  miry  place,  which  applies  well  to 
the  lower  Gluich.  There  is  another  Gluich  in 
Altas,  Sutherland,  also  wet,  and  a  third  in  Glen- 
convinth.  Local  tradition  ascribes  the  name  to 
the  '  glaodhaich '  or  lamentation  of  the  Edderton 
women  on  occasion  of  a  battle  with  the  Danes, 
and  a  similar  origin  is  assigned  to  Itaanich  (bha 
iad  a'  ranail  an  sin). 

Bailecharn — G.  beul-atha  chain,  ford-mouth  of  the 
cairns,  a  ford  on  the  Edderton  Burn,  above  Eas 
an  tairbh,  the  bull's  waterfall,  which  latter  is 
reputed  to  be  the  haunt  of  a  tarbh-uisge,  water- 

Inchintaury — The  Gaelic  hesitates  between  innis 
an  t-samhraidh  and  innis  an  t-sea'raigh,  but  the 
latter  seems  to  be  the  common  local  form,  pro- 
bably for  seanii  ruigh,  old  shieling.  Innis  an. 
t-samhraidh  means  summer-mead,  i.e.,  a  grassy 
meadow  on  which  cows  grazed  in  summer. 

Rhibreac — G.  an  ruigh  breac,  the  dappled  slope. 


Bogrow — G.  am  bogaradh,  a  derivative  of  bog,  soft, 
wet — wet  place  ;  it  is  a  soft  place  by  the  water 
side.  Also  leathad  a  bhogaraidk,  broad  slope  of 
the  soft  place.  In  1634  appears  on  record  (Reg. 
Mag.  Sig.)  '  magnus  limes  lapideus  vocatus 
Clachnabogarie,'  the  great  march  stone  called, 
etc.,  to  the  east  of  Edderton  Burn.  The  stone 
is  still  there,  and  known  by  the  same  name,  but 
it  is  110  longer  a  march  stone,  the  burn  being  now 
the  march. 

CambuSCUrrie  —  G.  camus-curaidh,  bay  of  the 
curach,  coracle ;  possibly  currach,  marsh.  The 
Gaelic  has  certainly  been  affected  by  the  modern 
English  form.  Locally  said  to  have  been  the 
landing  place  of  Curry  or  Carius  (v.  N.  Stat. 
Ace.),  the  Danish  prince  whose  prowess  caused 
the  '  glaodhaich  '  and  '  ranail J  above  referred  to. 
Cf.  Cambuschurrich  on  Lochtayside. 

Carrieblair — G.  blar  a'  charaidh  ;  the  farm-stead  is 
bail'  a  charaidh  ;  caraidh  means  '  grave-plot.' 
Cf.  clach  'charaidh,  the  name  of  the  fine  sculptured 
stone  at  Shandwick,  Nigg  (see  Nigg).  There  is  a 
sculptured  stone  on  Carrieblair  also,  still  standing 
and  depicted  in  Dr  Stuart's  '  Sculptured  Stones  of 
Scotland,'  near  which  ancient  graves  have  been 
excavated.  According  to  local  tradition,  this 
stone  marks  the  grave  of  Carius  referred  to  above. 

Edderton  Farm — G.  baile  na  fbitheachan  (final  "'  a  ' 
open).  The  formation  of  '  foitheachan  '  seems 
parallel  with  that  of  Guisachan,  etc.,  and  suggests 
as  the  base  '  faidh,'  a  beech,  which  in  Scottish 


Gaelic  is  '  faidhbhile,'  beech-tree.  The  name 
would  thus  mean  Place  of  beeches. 

BaUeigh  -  -  Ballinleich  1550,  Ballinleich,  alia* 
Litchstoune  1666  ;  G.  bail'  an  lighe  (also  lighich), 
Leech's  or  physician's  town.  Locally  said  to  have 
been  the  place  where  the  wounded  were  treated 
after  the  battle  of  Carrieblair. 

Ardmore — G.  an  t-ard  mor,  great  promontory. 

Rudha  nan  Sgarbh — Cormorants'  point ;  here  is  a 
large  round  cairn,  '  earn  mathaidh,'  where 
mathaidh  is  perhaps  a  proper  name,  near  loch 
nan  tunnag,  duck  loch. 

Requill — G.  ruigh  Dhughaill,  Dugald's  slope. 

Pollagharry — G.  poll  a'  ghearraidh,  pool  of  the 
'  gearraidh.'  There  is  no  pool  here  now,  but  there 
was  once,  according  to  local  evidence,  a  small  loch. 
Gearraidh  is  Norse  ger^i,  a  fenced  field,  borrowed, 
very  common  in  Lewis,  and  meaning  the  strip  of 
land  between  machair  and  monadh,  plain  and 
upland  moor. 

Garbad — G.  an  garbh-bad,  the  rough  chump  ;  also, 
coille  a'  gharbh-bhaid,  Garbad  wood. 

Meikle  and  Little  Daan — G.  Dathan  mhor  and 

Dathan  bhig ;  '  Dachynbeg  in  Vestray '  was 
granted  circ.  1350  by  Hugh  of  Ross  to  his 
armiger,  William  Marescal ;  Daane  1429  ;  Little 
Dovaiie  1578.  These  forms  may  possibly  point 
to  its  being  a  diminutive  of  '  dabhach,'  the  old 
Celtic  measure  of  land,  and  at  the  Reformation 
Dathan  Meikle  was  three-fourths  of  a  davach, 
and  Dathan  Lytle  one-fourth — a  davach  in 


all.  The  place,  however,  stands  at  the  con- 
fluence of  two  streams,  and  as  there  is  an 
O.  Ir.  word  '  an,'  water,  the  name  may  really  be 
da-an,  two  waters.  The  joint  stream  is  called  the 
Daan  burn,  and  the  traditional  explanation  of 
Daan  is  da-athaii,  two  fords,  which  is  quite 
possibly  right.  Near  Daan  is  Torr  a  bhil,  edge- 
hill.  Also,  '  an  dtibhran,'  which  seems  to  be  a 
derivative  of  O.G.  dobur,  water,  meaning  '  the 
wet  place.' 

Balblair — G.  bail'  a'  bhlair,  plain-towTn  ;  near  it  is 
1  an  ruigh  bhreac,'  spotted  slope  ;  and  east  of  it, 
'  leac  an  duinej  man's  flat  stone ;  and  '  ard 
mlianaidhj  monk's  point. 

Little  and  Meikle  Dallas— Doles  1560;  G.  Dalais 

mhor  and  Dalais  bhig.  It  is  never  used  with  the 
article.  The  old  form,  as  compared  with  the 
modern  Gaelic,  shows  the  common  transition  from 
•  o  '  to  '  a  ';  cf.  Culboky,  G.  cul-bhaicidh  ;  -ais  is 
the  Pictish  ending  seen  in  Allt-ais,  etc.  (v.  Introd.), 
and  the  first  syllable  is  to  be  equated  with  '  dol  ' 
in  dolmen,  used  in  place-names  in  the  sense 
of  '  plateau.'  Dallas  is  thus  a  Pictish  word, 
meaning  '  place  of  the  plateau,'  which  describes  its 
situation  ;  cf.  Dallas,  Elgin  ;  perhaps  also  Dal- 

Dounie — from  dun,  fort. 

Hilton — G.  Bail'  a'  chnuic. 

Craigroy — a  chreag  ruadh,  red  rock. 

Cartomie — G.  cathar-tomaidh  ;  cathar,  a  moss  or 
bog,  and  torn,  hillock  ;  compounded  on  the  same 
principle  as  Balaldie,  etc.  (v.  Introd.) 


Polinturk — G.  poll  an  tuirc,  boar's  pool. 

Cnocan    na    goibhnidh  —  (O.S.M.    Cnoc   al    na 

gamhainn),  smithy-hillock,  near  Polinturk. 

Muieblairie  -  -  Moyzeblary  1429.  G.  muigh- 
bhlaraidh,  spotted  plain  ;  locative  of  magh,  com- 
pounded with  blar,  spotted,  with  the  -idh  ending 
so  common  in  Easter  Ross.  Blar  is  not  nearly  so 
frequent  in  place-names  as  its  synonyms  riabhach. 
breac,  ballach. 

Alltnamain — G.  allt  na  meinu,  burn  of  ore,  with 
reference  to  its  irony  water.  There  are  strong- 
traces  of  iron  in  most  of  the  Edderton  burns  and 
wells,  and  there  are  even  said  to  have  been  iron- 
workings  in  Edderton  burn. 

Struie — G.  an  t-sruidh  ;  rathad  iia  Struidh,  the 
road  from  Alness  to  Bonar,  which  attains  its 
highest  point  at  Cnoc  na  Struidh.  Before  rail- 
ways this  was  the  usual  route  from  the  south,  so 
John  Munro  of  Creich  in  his  '  Oran  Ducha,'  on 
leaving  Glasgow  to  visit  his  native  place,  says — 

0  theid  sinu,  theid  sinn  le  suigeart  agus  aoidh, 
0  theid  sinu,  theid  sinn  gu  deonach, 
0  theid  sinn,  theid  yinii  thairis  air  an  t-Sriiidli 
Gu  muinntir  ar  daimh,  is  ar  n-eolais. 

Struidh  appears  to  be  best  regarded  as  a  con- 
tracted form  of  sruth-aidh,  an  extension  of  the 
root  of  sruth,  stream  ('t'  euphonic).  From  the 
base  of  Cnoc  na  Struidh  streams  flow  in  all 
directions  ;  cf.  Struy  in  Strathglass,  which  is  also 
a  place  of  streams.  At  Lbn  na  Struidh,  moist  flat 
of  Struie,  isfaaran  an  oir,  a  well  strongly  impreg- 


nated  with  iron,  and  reckoned  to  possess  healing 
properties,  but  it  has  been  insulted  (chaidh  tamailt 
a  chur  air),  and  is  not  what  it  once  was  ;  so  called 
from  a  gold  ring  having  been  lost  in  it  in  course 
of  cleaning. 

Lechanich — G.  an  leachanaich  (Leachanaich  ard  and 
L.  iosal)  ;  locally  interpreted  as  leth  Choinnich, 
Kenneth's  half,  but  the  presence  of  the  article 
does  not  countenance  this.  The  place  is  a  sloping 
hill-side,  and  the  name  is,  most  likely,  Leacanaich 
(with  V  aspirated),  from  leac,  a  sloping  hill-face  ; 
v.  Macbain's  Diet.,  s.v.  lethcheann. 

Cnoclady — G.  cnoc  leathadaidh,  hill  of  the  'leathad7 
or  slope  ;  formed  like  Bal-aldie.  Near  it  is  badan 
binn  ('n)  eoin,  where  *  eoin,'  as  in  other  cases 
where  it  occurs,  seems  to  be  the  genitive  singular 
of  eun,  bird. 

Craggan — G.  an  creagan,  the  little  rock  ;  behind  it 
is  edit  na  corrach,  burn  of  the  places  of  corries  ; 
there  are  three  small  corries  drained  by  it. 
Beyond  this  again,  leading  towards  Fearn,  is  '  an 
cadha  iosal?  the  low  pass,  over  Struie. 

Gnoc  an  liath  bhaid— Hill  of  the  grey  clump. 

Beinn  clach  an  fheadain— Hill  of  the  whistle 

stone  or  of  the  spout  (of  water). 

Carr  Dubh— G.  an  cathar  dubh,  a  hill  ;  cathar, 
usually  a  moss  or  bog,  is  here  used  to  mean  '  a 
rough,  broken  surface.' 

Cnoc  Bad  a'  bhacaidh — Hill  of  the  moss-clump. 
CDOC  an  Ruigh  ruaidh— Hill  of  the  red  slope. 
Chulash — A'  chulais,  the  recess. 


CnOC  Thorcaill— Torquil's  hill. 

Cnoc  'Chlachain— Hill  of  the  clachan,  with  reference 

to  the   Monastery  of  Fearn,  the  original  site  of 

which  was  not  far  off. 

Meall  na  siorramachd — (O.S.M.  Cnoc  Leathado 

na  siorramachd)  ?  Shire-hill,  on  the  Kincardine 

Beinn  nan  oighreagan — Hill  of  the  cloud-berries ; 

the  usual  plural  is  oighrean,  implying  a  singular 
oighre,  oi  which  oighreag  is  diminutive. 

Easter,  Western,  and  Mid  Fearn — Fearn'  ard, 

Fearn'  iochdarach,  literally  High  Fearn  and  Lower 
Fearn,  and  Fearna  meadhonach.  Blaeu's  Atlas 
has  Faern  lera,  Faern  Meanach,  Faern  Ocra ; 
from  Fearria,  alder.  The  Monastery  of  Fearn 
was  originally  founded  '  near  Kintarue,  in  Stiath- 
charron'  (Chron.  of  Earls  of  Ross),  probably, 
therefore,  at  Wester  Fearn,  about  1225,  and 
about  twenty  years  later,  in  the  founder's  life- 
time, '  for  the  more  tranquillitie,  peace  and 
quietnes  thereof  translated '  to  the  spot  it  still 
occupies,  where  it  was  called  at  first  Nova  Farina, 
New  Fearn,  then  simply  Fearn. 

Allt    Grugaig — The   little    surly  one,  the  burn  of 
Wester  Fearn. 

According  to  the  New  Stat.  Ace.  (1840), 
"  there  is  a  complete  chain  of  those  round  towers 
called  Dunes  surrounding  this  parish  ;  none 
of  them,  however,  in  a  state  of  even  tolerable 
preservation.  One  of  these,  situated  at  Easter 
Fearn,  and  known  by  the  name  of  Dune-Alliscaig 


(from  Dun-fair-loisgeadh,  or  the  beacon  watcli- 
tower),  was  about  fourteen  feet  in  height  within 
the  last  thirty  years,  and  had  vaults  and  a  spiral 
staircase  within  the  wall."  It  was  destroyed  for 
dykes,  etc.,  about  1818.  The  site  is  still  to  be 
seen,  and  the  name  is  still  current  in  Gaelic  as 
Dun  Alaisgaig.  Falaisg,  moor-burning,  which 
seems  hinted  at  in  the  derivation  oifered  above, 
suits  the  phonetics  exactly,  but  the  word  is 
probably  Norse.  Blaeu  has  it  Dun  Alliscaig. 
East  .of  it  he  marks  Dunivastra,  i.e.,  Dounie  of 
Westray,  now  Dounie,  where  there  are  also  the 
ruins  of  a  broch  still  known  as  the  *  c&rn  liath.' 
There  is  a  third,  nameless,  at  Lechanich,  said  to 
have  been  six  or  seven  feet  high,  with  chambers, 
within  living  memory.  Carn  mathaidh,  on  Rudha 
nan  sgarbh,  may  have  been  another. 

There  are  no  Norse  names  in  Edderton,  except 
the  obsolete  Westray,  and  possibly  Dim  Alaisgaig. 



Tain— Tene  1227;  Thane  1483.  The  Gaelic  form 
is  not  available,  as  Baile  Dhubhaich,  St  Duthac's 
town,  has  in  Gaelic  displaced  Tain.  The  existence 
of  another  Tain,  near  the  head  of  Dunnet  Bay  in 
Caithness,  suggests  the  name  to  be  Norse,  but  it 
is  difficult  to  offer  a  satisfactory  etymology.  The 
guesses  of  Rev.  W.  Taylor  and  others  need  not  be 
repeated,  nor  have  I  arrived  at  anything  certain. 
In  Reg.  Mag.  Sig.,  under  date  1612,  the  annual 
markets  of  Tain  are  given  as  follows  : — Midsomer 
or  St  John's,  26  June  ;  S.  Barquhani,  4  August  ; 
[St  Berchan]  S.  Duthosi,  30  December,  6  March  ; 
S.  Makharboch,  20  November.  The  Calendar  of 
Fearn  gives  only  three  fairs,  on  18  March,  9 
August,  and  20  December,  the  last  being  '  Mak- 
carmochis  day.'  (St  Cormac  ;  cf.  Tobar  Cormaic 
in  Nigg). 

The  girth  of  Tain,  marked  out  by  four  crosses 
(Charter  of  James  II.,  1457),  appears  to  have 
been  roughly  co-extensive  with  the  bounds  of 
the  parish.  In  1616  (Reg.  Mag.  Sig.)  appears 
4  the  girth  croce  dividing  the  common  lands  of 
the  Burgh  of  Tayne  from  Ulladil,'  and  Rev. 
W.  Taylor  notes  dais  na  comraich,1  hollow  of  the 
girth  or  sanctuary,  on  the  southern  boundary  of 

1  It  is  at  "  The  Canary." 

TAIN.  33 

the  parish,  towards  Scotsburn  (of  old  Ulladale). 
Crois  Caitrion,  Catherine's  Cross,  to  the  north  of 
Loch  Eye,  may  have  been  another  girth  cross. 
The  revenues  of  the  Collegiate  Church  of  Tain, 
which  dates  from  1487,  were  derived  from  the 
lands  of  Tain,  Innerathy,  Newmore,  Dunskaith, 
Morynchy,  Tallirky,  and  Cambuscurry.  Of  these 
places,  the  last  five  were  chaplainries,  and  the 
last  three  were  within  the  girth  of  Tain. 

Meikle  Ferry — G.  am  port  mor,  of  old  Portin- 
coulter.  The  Little  Ferry  is  at  the  mouth  of 
Loch  Fleet,  between  the  parishes  of  Dornoch  and 

Ardjachie — G.  aird-achaidh,  promontory  of  the 
cultivated  field. 

Tarlogie— Tallirky  1487  ;  Tarlogy  1529;  Tallarky 
1559  ;  Talreky  1580  ;  G.  Tarlogaidh.  Talorg, 
diminutive  Talorgan,  was  a  Pictish  proper  name, 
from  tal,  brow,  and  the  root  arg,  white,  seen  in 
argentum,  airgiod,  Argos.  The  Gaulish  proper 
name  Argiotalus  shews  the  same  elements.  The 
name  of  a  Pictish  saint  Talorgan  survives  in  Kil- 
tarlity,  G.  Cill-Taraghlain.  As  a  place-name, 
white  brow  is,  of  course,  quite  appropriate. 

PitnelJies — Petnely  1512;  G.  Bail'  an  ianlaith, 
Birds'  town.  The  plural  form  has  arisen  from  the 
division  of  Pitnely  into  two — north  and  south. 
The  English  form  is  an  instructive  corruption. 

Balcherry — G.  Bail'  a'  cheathraimh,  town  of  the 
quarter  (davach),  cf.  Balcherry,  near  Invergordon, 
also  Ochto. 



Pithogarty— Petogarthe  1548  ;  Pettogarty  1560  ; 
Betagartie  1574  ;  G.  Bail'  shogartaidh,  Priest's 
town.  The  true  Gaelic  form  Avould  be  Bail'  an 
t-sagairt  or  Baile  nan  sagart ;  cf.  Pitentagart  and 
Balhaggarty  in  Aberdeenshire. 

The  Fendom — G.  na  f  ana  (fanoo),  from  fan,  a  gentle 
slope,  or,  usually  in  Scottish  topography,  a  flat, 
low-lying  place,  the  Scots  '  Laigh.'  Fan  is  seen 
as  an  adjective  in  Rob  Donn,  '  an  rum  a's  fhaine 
fo  'n  uir,'  the  lowest  room  beneath  the  earth,  i.e., 
the  grave.  The  English  form  is  a  curious  cor- 

Balkeith  or  Balkil— Ballecuth  1548;  G.  Baile  na 
coille,  town  of  the  wood ;  keith  looks  like  Welsh 
gwydd,  wood,  which  would  make  the  modern 
Gaelic  Baile  na  coille  a  direct  translation  of  an 
original  Pictish  Pit-keith.  Similarly  Dal-keith, 
which  is  on  a  flat-backed  ridge,  may  mean 
'  plateau  of  the  wood.' 

Plaids— Plaiddes  1560;  G.  a  Phlaicl,  from  Norse 
flatr,  the  flat  or  low  land.  The  plural  form  is 
English;  cf.  Pladday,  Flat  Isle.  Fladay,  off 
Barra,  retains  the  Norse  form.  Near  Plaids  is 
said  to  have  been  a  court-hill  of  Paul  Mactyre. 

Morangie — Morinchy  1487,  Morinch  1507,  Morin- 
schie  1618;  G.  M6r(a)istidh.  The  't'  of  the 
modern  Gaelic  form  is,  doubtless,  developed  after 
4  s '  (cf.  an  drasd  for  an  trath  sa ;  culaist  for 
culaix),  and  from  the  old  forms  it  may  be  inferred 
to  be  of  fairly  recent  origin.  This  leaves  us  with 
M6r(a)isidh,  where  '  is  '  is  the  reduced  form  of 



'  iniiis,'   haugh,  and  the  rest  is   termination,  the 
whole  meaning  Big-haugh. 

Kirksheaf— Kerskeithl560,Kirkskeith  1607;  Cros- 
kyth,  Pont ;  now  in  G.  a  chroit  mhor,  the  big 
croft.  The  old  forms  suggest  cathair,  seat  or  fort, 
and  either  sgath,  dread  (cf.  Dunskaith  in  Nigg), 
or  sgeith,  hawthorn.  The  place  is  close  to  the 
ancient  Chapel  of  St  Duthus. 

Cnoc  nan  aingeal,  or  Angels'  Hill — The  small  hill, 
now  cut  through  by  the  railway,  north-east  of  the 
old  chapel.  The  road  to  Inver  crosses  the  cutting 
by  a  bridge.  Cf.  Cnoc  nan  aingeal  at  Kirkton  of 
Lochalsh.  The  name  may  equally  well  mean 
knoll  of  fires,  from  G.  aingeal,  light,  fire. 

Knockbreck — G.  an  cnoc  breac,  the  spotted  hill. 

Cnocanmealbhain — Knoll  of  the  white  lump. 

Aldie — G.  Alltaidh,  burn  place,  from  allt,  with 

Garrick  Burn— Muirs  and  Moss  of  Garrack,  1690  ; 
also  Ben  Garrick,  Beindyarrok  1632,  and  drochaid 
Gharaig,  Garrick  Bridge. 

Knocknacean — G.  cnoc  nan  ceann,  hill  of  heads, 
with  probable  reference  to  a  battle. 

Glastullich — Green  hillock  ;  locative  of  tulach. 

Blarleath — G.  am  blar  liath,  the  gray  plain. 

Ardival — Height  of  the  home-stead. 

Loch  Lapagial — A  tiny  lochlet  in  the  heights,  the 
Gaelic  form  of  which  I  have  failed  to  verify. 

Loch  Uanaidh— (O.S.M.  Lochan  Uaine);  Loch 
Owany,  Pont ;  perhaps  from  uan,  lamb,  but 
there  is  also  O.  Ir.  uan,  foam. 


An  t-allt  clachach — The  stony  burn. 

Beinn  na  gearran — of    O.S.M.   should  be  Bimi 

Garaig,  the  hill  of  Tain. 

Lairg — '  The  Lairgs  of  Tain ' ;  G.  lairig,  a  sloping 
hill,  moor. 

KingSCauseway — G.  cabhsair  an  righ  ;  but,  accord- 
ing to  Rev.  W.  Taylor,  rathad  an  righ  ;  probably 
the  road  by  which  James  IV.  so  often  rode  to 
St  Duthac's  shrine. 

Balnagall — Balnagaw  1560,  town  of  the  strangers  ; 
scarcely  likely  to  be  a  reminiscence  of  the  Norse- 

Bogbain — G.  am  bac  ban,  white  moss. 

Hunting  Hill— G.  druim  na  sealg. 

Morrich  more — G.  a  mhoraich  mhor,  a  large,  low- 
lying  sandy  flat  by  the  sea  shore.  Moraich, 
better  mor(mh)oich  or  mor'oich,  is  from  Ir.  mur- 
magh,  sea  plain  ;  cf.  a  mhor'oich,  the  Gaelic  of 
Lovat ;  Morvich,  Kintail,  &c.  It  is  usually  applied 
to  a  plain  by  the  sea  shore,  yet  we  have  a  moor 
so  called  in  Badenoch.  A  sand  bank  off  the  coast, 
accessible  only  at  low  tides,  is  called  ' an  aideal' 
from  Norse  va^ill,  ford. 

Loch  Preas  an  uisge,  Loch  na  Muic,  Loch  nan 
Tun  nag,  Loch  of  the  Water- bush,  Sow  Loch, 
and  Duck  Loch  are  small  lochs  in  the  Morrich 

An  innis  mhor,  big  isle,  and  an  innis  bheag,  small 
isle,  off  the  coast. 

Whiteness — Apparently  Norse,  white  point. 

TAIN.  37 

The  Gizzen  BriggS1 — A  dangerous  sandy  bar  guard- 
ing the  entrance  to  the  Dornoch  Firth.  G, 
drochaid  an  obh  (ow).  Taylor,  however,  gives 
drochaid  an  aobh,  and  says  he  had  also  heard 
drochaid  an  naomh,  with  a  nasal  sound.  The 
local  explanation  connects  with  baobh,  or  baogh, 
hag,  in  Easter  Ross  called  '  a  vow,'  and  specialised 
into  the  meaning  of  water-sprite,  or  possibly 
mermaid  ;  in  any  case,  a  malicious  spirit.  Gizzen 
Briggs  is  connected  by  Taylor  with  Norse  Geyser, 
a  boiling  spring,  which  suits  neither  the  sense  nor- 
th e  phonetics.  Brig,  for  bridge,  is  so  utterly 
foreign  to  the  English  of  Ross  that  it  is  most 
reasonable  to  regard  it  as  a  Norse  survival,  as  also 
the  '  meikle,'  so  common  in.  Easter  Ross  farm 
names.  The  name  is,  doubtless,  the  Norse 
'  gisnar  bryggja,'  leaky  bridge.  In  Easter  Ross 
the  term  '  gizzened,'  leaky,  is  still  commonly 
applied  to  tubs  or  barrels  that  have  shrunk  in  the 

Inveraithie — Now  practically  obsolete  ;  in  a  Retour 
of  1652  appears  as  'within  the  liberty  of  Tain, 
and  having  salmon  fishings  and  stells.'  '  The 
tradition  is  that  the  town  of  Tain  was  once  built 
much  nearer  than  it  is  at  present  to  the  mouth  of 
the  river,  on  land  that  has  been  in  great  part 
swept  away  by  the  sea,  but  that  was  called  in  old 
charters  and  is  sometimes  remembered  still  as 

1  "  Most  of  the  Norwegian  fiords  are  partially  obstructed  at  their  entrance 
by  the  remains  of  old  moraines,  which  in  the  north  are  called  havbroen,  sea 
bridges"  (Redus,  Univ.  Gcog.). 


Inver-Eathie,  or  in  Gaelic  Inbhir-athai '  (Taylor). 
The  Gaelic  form  here  given,  though  it  cannot  now 
be  verified,  is  doubtless  right,  for  Eathie  Burn 
in  the  Black  Isle  is  Allt  athaidh.  Evidently 
athaidh  was  also  the  old  name  of  the  Tain  river. 
The  word  is  probably  based  on  ath,  a  ford. 

Inver — G.  an  in'ir  (inbhir),  the  confluence,  or  mouth 
of  a  stream.  Rev.  W.  Taylor  says  that  it  appears 
in  old  documents  as  Inverlochslin,  which  would 
imply  that  Lochslin,  now  drained,  sent  its  waters 
in  this  direction. 

Na  h-oitrichean — The  mussel  scalps,  from  G.  oitir, 
sea  bank. 

Culpleasant — A  hybrid  of  comparatively  recent 
origin  ;  cuil,  nook.  Near  it  is  Fuaran  Dhaidh, 
St  David's  well,  the  principal  source  of  the  Tain 
water  supply. 

The  Canary— So  called,  it  is  said,  from  a  drinking 
place  which  once  existed  here. 

Queebec — Bridge  and  Brae,  on  the  Scotsburn  road 
about  two  miles  from  Tain  ;  the  name  arose  from 
the  fact  that  a  gentleman  who  had  made  money 
in  Quebec  settled  near.  The  Gaelic  name  is 
Muileann  Luaidh,  Fulling  Mill,  and  the  burn 
is  Allt  Luaidh. 

Commonty— Once  the  common  lands  of  the  burgh 
of  Tain. 

The  following  names  appear  to  be  obsolete  :— 
The  two  Thesklaris  (on  west  side  of  Tain), 
Enycht,  Croftmatak,  Poltak,  Neclacanalych,  Bal- 
natouch,  Petgerello,  Skardy  with  its  mill,  Auley 



{?  Aldie),  the  Buttis,  Gorlinges,  Clerk  Island,  and 
Priest  Island,  the  last  three  '  belonging  to  the 
Burgh  from  time  immemorial  (confirmation  of 
1612  by  King  James  VI) 



Fearn  was  until  1628  included  in  the  parish  of 
Tarbat.  The  name  was  transferred  with  the  mon- 
astery from  Fearn,  Edderton.  The  monastery,  on 
its  new  site,  was  styled  Nova  Farina,  New  Fearn, 
but  in  Gaelic  the  parish  is  Sgir  na  Manachainn, 
Parish  of  the  Monastery,  also  simply  A'  Mhan- 
achainn.  As  distinguished  from  Beauly  (Manach- 
ainn 'Ic  Shimidh),  it  is  called  Manachainn  Hois,  the 
Monastery  of  Koss. 

Cadboll—  Cathabul  1529  ;  Norse  kattar-bol,  cat- 
stead  ;  from  this  and  similar  names  in  Tarbat 
it  appears  that  the  rocks  facing  the  Moray  Firth 
were  of  old  a  haunt  of  wild  cats.  Cf.  Cattadale, 
Islay.  Below  Cadboll  are  Tobar  ct  bliaile  duiWi, 
Well  of  the  black  town,  and  Tobar  Suardalain, 
Well  of  Suardalan  ;  also  Creag  na  fiaintighearna, 
the  Lady's  rock. 

Cadboll  Mount — The  curious  story  of  Cadboll 
Mount  is  told  by  Bishop  Forbes.  The  Laird  of 
Cadboll  was  on  bad  terms  with  his  cousin, 
Macleod  of  Geanies,  and  built  the  '  mount'  to 
look  down  on  his  lands.  Geanies  replied  by 
planting  a  belt  of  trees  which  in  time  shut  out 
the  view.  The  mound,  which  still  exists,  was 
made  quadrangular,  built  in  steps  like  a  pyramid, 
and  about  60  feet  high. 

FEAKN.  41 

Hilton — Balnaknok  1610  ;  G.  bail'  a'  chnuic. 

Balintore — G.  bail'  an  todhair,  bleaching-town  ;  cf. 
Balintore  in  Abriachan  and  in  Kirkhill.  The 
name  goes  back  to  the  tiine  when  flax  was  culti- 
vated in  the  north.  The  old  name  of  Balintore 
is  given  locally  as  Port  an  Ab,  Abbot's  Port,  and 
Blaeu  shows  Abbotshaven  here. 

Tullich— Tulloch  1606;  G.  an  tulaich  (locative), 
at  the  hillock. 

Clasnamuiack — Grlasnamoyache  1647;  G.  Clais  na 
maigheach,  Hares'  hollow. 

Balmuchy— Balmochi  1529  ;  Balmoch  1561  ;  G. 
Baile  mhuchaidh.  The  meaning  is  uncertain  ; 
muc,  pig,  is  out  of  the  question  ;  perhaps  Ir. 
much,  mist,  or  mucha,  owl.  Pendicles  of 
Balmuchy  were  Bellewallie  (Broomtown),  Ballin- 
reich  (Bail'  an  f/iraoich,  Heather-stead,  between 
Fearn  U.F.  Church  and  Manse,  north  of  the  road), 
and  Glasnamoyache  above. 

Pitkerrie  — Pitkeri  1529  ;  G.  Baile-cheiridh  ;  not 
the  same  as  Balcherry,  Tain,  which  has  short  e. 
The  local  derivation  is  ceir,  wax  :  the  place  was 
covered  with  whins,  from  which  the  bees  made 
only  wax.  This  is  quite  possible,  though  it  looks 
somewhat  fanciful.  But  at  least  equally  possible 
is  a  derivation  from  ciar,  dark,  whence  ceiread, 
duskiness,  hoariness.  Behind  it  is  Waterton,  G. 
Baile  nam  fuaran,  Well-town. 

Rhynie— Eathne  1529  ;  G.  rathan  (mhor  andbheag, 
meikle  and  little) ;  a  derivative  from  rath,  circular 
enclosure  or  fort.  Rhynie  in  Aberdeenshire  is- 


of  different  origin — Ryny  1224,  Rynyn  1226  ; 
from  roinnean,  diminutive  of  roinn,  headland,  as 
Mr  James  Macdonald  thinks  (Place-names  of 
West  Abercleenshire). 

Poulfock — G.  poll  a'  phoca,  pool  of  the  bag. 

IiOCheye — G.  loch  na  h-uidhe  ;  uidh,  from  Norse 
eith,  isthmus,  is  common  in  place-names,  where  it 
may  mean  (i.)  isthmus,  cf.  the  Eye  peninsula  at 
Stornoway,  or  (ii.)  according  to  some,  slow  running 
water  between  two  lochs.  Here,  from  the  fact 
that  we  have  '  an  uidh '  (see  below)  near  the 
outlet  of  the  loch,  uidh  seems  to  be  used  with  the 
second  meaning. 

Mounteagle — G.  cnoc  iia  h-iolaire,  also,  an  uidh,  as 
above,  but  the  '  uidh '  is  strictly  the  western  part 
of  Mounteagle,  near  the  outlet  of  Loch  Eye. 

Lochslin — G.  Loch-slinn,  from  slinii,  a  weaver's 
sleye.  Lochslin,  as  a  loch,  has  disappeared,  and 
survives  only  in  ihe  names  Lochslin  Farm  and 
the  ancient  ruin  of  Lochslin  Castle.  It  must 
have  been  a  small  loch,  at  the  eastern  end  of  Loch 
Eye,  v.  Inver. 

Knocknahar — G.  cnoc  na  h-aire,  watch-hill. 

Loandhll — G.  an  Ion  dubh,  black  '  loan '  or  wet 

Balnagore,  probably  baile  nan  gobhar,  Goats'  town, 
which  is  confirmed  by  a  well,  Tobar  nan  gobhar, 
Goats'  well,  noted  by  Rev.  Mr  Taylor,  and 
appearing  on  record  as  Tobarnayngor.  Formerly 
a  number  of  small  crofts. 

The  Talich — Dallachie,  in  the  barony  of  Geanies, 
1676  ;  G.  loch  an  dailich,  ?loch  of  the  meeting. 

FEARN.  43 

Allan — Allan  Meikle  1479  ;  G.  Alan  mhor  (broad 
'  1 ').  In  the  parish  of  Knockbain  there  are  three 
Allans,  Allan-grange,  Allan  nan  clach,  and  Allan 
fhraoich  ;  there  is  also  Alan-ais,  the  Gaelic  of 
Alness,  all  pronounced  alike  in  Gaelic,  v.  Alness. 

Ballinroich— Munro's  town.  William  Munro,  son 
of  Andrew  Munro  of  Milntown,  obtained  the  lands 
of  Meikle  Allan  about  1570. 

Balblair — G.  bail'  a'  bhlair,  town  of  the  plain. 

Balindrum — G.  bail  an  druim,  town  of  the  ridge. 

Mttldearg — G.  a'  mhuil  dearg  (locative),  the  red 
rounded  eminence. 

Midoxgate — G.  an  (t-)uchd  meadhonach,  the  mid 
hillock  or  terrace.  In  view  of  the  Gaelic  it  would 
be  unsafe  to  regard  this  interesting  name  as  a 
genuine  survival  of  the  bovate  or  oxgate,  the  old 
land  measure.  The  place  is  on  the  100  foot  ridge 
between  Hill  of  Fearn  and  Loch  Eye,  and  '  uchd 
meadhonach'  is  therefore  quite  applicable.  In 
the  absence  of  old  forms,  it  seems  more  reasonable 
to  suppose  Midoxgate  to  be  an  ingenious  mis- 
translation of  the  Gaelic  by  some  one  of  anti- 
quarian tastes,  than  to  regard  '  uchd  '  as  a  Gaelic 
attempt  at  '  ox.' 

At  Hilton  of  Cadboll  stood  a  chapel,  dedicated  to 
the  Virgin  'Our  Ladyis  Chapell '  1610,  in  con- 
nection with  which  appears  in  1610  (Reg.  Mag. 
Sig.)  Litill  Kilmure,  Toir  of  Kilmuir,  a  well  called 
Oure-Lady-well,  situated  near  the  angle  of  the 
kailyard  dyke  occupied  by  And.  Denune  of  Bal- 
naknok  ;  also  the  heavin  called  Our-Lady-heavin 


of  Kilmure.  Some  of  these  names  survive  : 
Creag  na  baintighearna,  Lady's  Bock,  is  under 
Cadboll ;  Tobar  na  baintighearna,  Lady's  Well,  is 
(or  was)  near  a  small  graveyard  east  of  Hilton 
used  for  unbaptized  children  ;  Port  na  bain- 
tighearna, Lady's  haven.  The  name  Kilmuir, 
curiously  enough,  seems  to  have  gone,  but  there 
is  Bard  Mhoire,  Mary's  meadow  or  enclosure.  I 
have  met  with  no  other  clear  instance  of  ban- 
tighearna  in  the  above  sense  of '  Our  Lady.' 

TARE  AT.  45 


Tarbat — Arterbert  1227  ;  Terbert  1529  ;  Tarbat 
1561-66  ;  G  Tairbeart,  a  crossing,  portage, 
isthmus.  The  land  of  Estirterbate  stands  first  in 
the  list  of  lands  given  in  the  Exchequer  Holls  as 
belonging  to  John,  last  Earl  of  Ross,  which  passed 
to  the  Crown  on  his  resignation  in  1479. 

Tarbat  Ness — G.  rudha  Thairbeirt,  cf.  Arterbert 
above,  where  Ar(t)  is  for  airde,  promontory. 
Cairns  near  the  lighthouse  are  named  Bodach  an 
rudha,  the  old  man  of  the  point ;  an  Cailleach, 
the  old  wife  ;  a'  Bhean-mhuinntir,  the  servant 
lass.  A  rock  in  the  sea  is  called  Steollaidh, 
Norse  stagl-ey,  rock-island. 

Port  a'  chait— Cat's  port ;  cf.  Oadboll.  There  is 
also  Got  nan  cat,  hole  or  cavern  of  the  cats, 
from  Norse  gat,  hole ;  English  gate.  Near  it  is 
Got  nan  caiman,  hole  of  the  pigeons. 

Port  Buckie — G.  Port  nam  faochag. 

Wilkhaven — A  translation  of  Port  nam  faochag. 
Near  it  is  n a  h-athan  salach,  the  nasty  fords,  a 
small  burn,  which  appears  on  record  as  Allan - 
sallaeh,  with  a  chapel  dedicated  to  St  Bride. 

Blar  a'  chath— The  battlefield. 

Brucefield — G.  crioc  an  tighearna,  the  laird's  hill, 
probably  from  Robert  Bruce  Macleod,  a  former 
proprietor.  North  Brucefield  is  in  Gaelic  Loch 


Sirr\  Near  it  was  Loch  nan  cuigeal ;  cuigeal,  a 
distaff,  is  also  the  name  of  a  water  plant. 

Port  Uilleam — William's  port. 

Hilton — G.  Bail'  a'  chnuic  ;  near  it  is  Cnoc  beall- 
aidh,  broom-hill. 

Bindal — G.  Biricleil  ;  Norse  bind-clalr?  sheaf-dale, 
The  name  occurs  in  Norway.  Near  it  is  Stiana 
Bleadar  or  stoney -blather,  Norse  stein-blettr, 

Portmahomack — Portmaholmag  N.S.A.  ;  G.  Port 
ma  Cholmag,  Colman's  port.  Tobar  ma  Chalmag, 
Colman's  well,  is  near  the  Library.  Behind  it  is 
Pitfaed)  G.  Baile  Phaididh,  of  doubtful  meaning. 

Gaza — So  called  (i.)  because  it  is  desert,  being 
mostly  sand-hills  (cf.  Acts  viii.  26),  or  (ii.)  because 
a  minister  of  Tar  bat  once  referred  to  its  people  as 
"  muinntir  Ghaza,"  men  of  Gaza,  i.e.,  Philistines, 
because  of  their  irregular  attendance  at  church. 
Such  are  the  local  explanations. 

Balnabruach — Town  of  the  banks. 

Rockfield — G.  a'  Chreag,  or  Creag  Tarail  beag. 

Castle  Corbet — G.  an  Caisteal  dearg,  Red-castle. 
In  1534  James  Dunbar  of  Tarbat  sold  one-third 
of  the  lands  of  Arboll  to  John  Corbet  of  Estir 
Ard,  and  the  Corbets  appear  on  record  thereafter 
as  proprietors  in  Tarbet. 

Balachladich — Shore  town  ;  further  inland  is 

Drumancroy — G.  an  druim(a)  cruaidh  (locative),, 
the  hard  ridge. 

TARBAT.  47 

Petley— So  called  in  the  first  decade  of  last  century 
by  Sheriff  Macleod  of  Geariies,  who  married  Miss 
Jane  Petley.  The  old  name  was  Mulbuie,  yellow 
height;  Mulboyeid  1535. 

Tarrel— John  of  Tarale  1373,  Tamil  1561  ;  G. 
Tarail.  Probably  '  tar,'  across,  over,  and  '  ail,' 
rock — Over-cliff.  There  are  high  cliffs  at  Tarrel 
and  at  Rocktown  (Little  Tarrel),  as  there  are  at 
Geanies.  Gaelic  has  '  Tarail  mhor,  is  Tarail 
bheag,  is  Tarail  fo  na  chreag.' 

Meikle  Tarrel  included  in  1529  Royeindavoir, 
Renmasrycshe,  Creitnacloyithegeill,  Creitmantae, 
Kilpottis,  Rownakarne,  Rownaknoksenidis,  and 
near  it  were  Callechumetulle,  Kandig,  KilstaRe. 

Geanies — Gathenn  1529  ;  Eistir  Gany,  Wastir 
Gaiiy,  Midilgany  1561-1566  ;  G.  Gaan.  The 
modern  form  is  thus  an  English  plural.  Gaan  is 
most  probably  a  Gaelic  plural  of  Norse  '  gja,'  a 
chasm,  from  the  precipitous  rocks  on  the  coast^ 
From  the  same  root  we  have  also  '  gaw,'  a  furrow 
or  small  trench  ;  cf.  '  yawn,'  Ger.  '  gahnen,'  Scot- 
tish '  gant.' 

Balaldie — '  Baile,'  town  ;  '  alt,'  burn,  with  -ie 
ending — Burn-town. 

Balnuig — G.  bail'  an  aoig,  town  of  death  ;  Baile  na 
h-atha,  Kiln-town,  is  part  of  it. 

Toulvaddie — G.  toll  a'  mhadaidh,  dog-hole. 

Loch  Clais  na  ere — Loch  of  the  clay  hollow. 

Arboll — Arkboll  1463  and  1535  ;  Norse  ork-bol, 
ark-stead,  but  possibly  from  orkn,  seal,  which  in 
Skye  gives  Or-bost.  Near  Arboll  were  Knokan- 


girrach,  on  the  coast,  1633  ;  also  Lochanteny  and 
Loanteanaquhatt,  i.e.,  L6n  tigh  nan  cat,  Cats' - 
house  mead. 

Gallow  Hill — G.  cnoc  na  croiche,  about  a  mile  from 
Balloan  Castle. 

Skinnertown — G.  baile  nan  Scinnearach.  Skinner 
is  a  surname  very  common  in  the  coast  villages  of 
Easter  Ross. 

Innis  Bheag — Small  Isle  — off  the  north  coast. 

A'  Chreag  Mhaol — Bare  or  blunt  rock,  below 

Teampall  Earach — Easter  Temple,  a  cave  on  the 
south  coast,  east  of  Bindal,  opposite  a  moor  now 
cultivated  between  Bindal  and  Wilkhaven,  called 
Blar-Earach ;  there  is  also  Cruit  Earach,  easter 
croft  ;  cf.  cuil  earach,  easter  recess,  in  Islay. 
There  is  a  tradition  that  the  cave,  which  is  but 
small,  was  once  used  for  purposes  of  worship. 
Hev.  Mr  Taylor  quotes  a  description,  which 
applies  not  to  it  but  to  a  much  more  imposing 
cave  near  it. 

Balloan  Castle — Two  causeways  lead  to  it,  Cabh- 
sair  an  righ,  King's  causeway,  and  an  cabhsar 
mbr,  the  big  causeway.  Near  it  is  Cnoc  Dubh, 
Black  Hill,  where  stone  coffins  have  been  found, 
also  Cnoc  druim(a)  langaidh. 

Port  a*  Chaisteil — Castle-haven,  whence  the  title 
in  the  Cromarty  family  of  Viscount  Castlehaven. 
In  a  rock  to  the  west  of  it  is  Got  a  choice,  hole  of 
the  cauldron. 

TAEBAT.  49 

Toll  Raoiridh  is  a  cave  on  the  north-east  side  of 
Tar  bat  Ness.  Its  mouth  is  now  blocked,  but  some 
cattle  which  entered  it  long  ago  came  out  in 
Caithness !  Cf.  Creag  Eaoiridh  in  Kincardine 
and  Leac  Eaoiridh  below  Achtercairn,  Gairloch. 

Kilpots,  which  appears  as  Kilpotis,  is  a  sea-mark  ; 
there  is  also  oir  na  poit,  edge  of  the  pot. 

Cillean  Ilelpak  is  a  fishing  bank  in  the  Moray 
Firth,  called  in  Cromarty  Geelyum  Melpak. 
There  is  another  '  Geelyum '  nearer  Cromarty. 
Helpak  is  said  to  have  been  a  witch. 

The  following  names,  probably  belonging  to 
Fearn  or  Tarbat  appear  to  be  obsolete  : — Hard- 
nanen  and  Ardnadoler,  Port  na  cloiche,  Port 
nagrigack,  Portnawest1  alias  St  John's  port — all 
described  as  small  ports,  and  the  last  three  near 
Arboll  ;  Innerladour,  Eochani,  Knokydaff,  Arth- 
reis,  Coillen,  Kandig,  Eownaknoksenidis,  Elvie 
more,  Ballinsirach,  and,  near  Arboll,  a  port  called 

1  This  is  probably  Port  cC  Lhaist,  still  known. 



Nig — Nig  1227  ;  G.  'n  eig,  the  notch  (locative  of 
eag).  The  notch  in  question  may  be  that  cut  by 
the  bay  of  Nigg  ;  but  it  is  noteworthy  that  the 
parish  church,  which  has  always  apparently  occu- 
pied the  same  site,  stands  on  the  edge  of  a 
Y-shaped  gully,  and  on  the  analogy  of  other 
parish  names  it  is  perhaps  safer  to  regard  this 
gully  as  the  notch  which  gave  its  name  first  to 
the  church  and  then  to  the  parish  ;  cf.  Eigg,  and 
Nigg  near  Aberdeen. 

Broomtown — Ballewallie  ;  G.  bail'  a'  bhealaidtu 
Between  it  and  Balintore  is  Dorus  na(m)  ba, 
door,  or  pass,  of  the  kine. 

Shandwick — G.  seannduaig,  from  Norse  sand-viky 
sand-bay.  In  Islay  the  same  combination  gives 
Sanaig.  A  plan  of  the  land  about  Shandwick, 
dated  1786,  shews  the  following : — Tobar  no, 
slainte,  well  of  health  ;  Stronmore,  the  big  point ; 
Walter's  Seat ;  Craggan,  the  little  rock  ;  Cull 
lisk,  back  or  nook  of  the  enclosure  ;  Crot  kerk, 
Hens'  Croft  ;  Crot  Ganich,  Sandy  Croft  ;  Crot 
Oich ;  Fisher  Crofts ;  Eallnamorich,  Fisher- town ; 
Cromlet,  the  bent  slope  ;  Leatcaum,  the  bent  hill- 
side ;  Clasinore,  ?  Claisean  mora,  the  big  furrows  ; 
Riliindow,  black  slopes  ;  Cocli  kinich  (i.e.,  Cach- 
aileith  Coinnich),  Kenneth's  gate. 

NIGG.  51 

Rarichie  (Easter  and  Wester) — Rarechys  1333, 
Raricheis  1368  ;  G.  Rath-riachaidh  shios  agus  R. 
shuas.  Fort  of  scratching  (as  by  brambles),  satis- 
fies the  phonetics.  The  foundations  of  a  circular 
fort  still  exist  on  a  hillock,  with  well-marked  fosse 
at  foot,  near  the  farmhouse  of  Easter  Rarichie. 
The  former  existence  of  wood  is  proved  by  its 
name,  Cnoc  coille  no,  tobarach,  Well-wood  Hill. 
Of.  Dunriachie,  a  hill  fort  in  the  parish  of  Dores, 
Inverness.  The  latter  part  of  the  compound  may, 
however,  be  riabhach,  dappled,  with  -idh  exten- 
sion. The  local  derivation  is  as  follows  : — The 
Picts  lived  at  Cadha  'n  ruigh,  and  in  spring-time 
they  would  say,  '  tiugamaid  'bhan  'dheanamh 
rotha  riachagan,'  '  let  us  go  down  to  make  rows 
of  scratches '  (to  sow  seed  in). 

Easter  Rarichie  includes  Cnoc  Coinnich,  Ken- 
neth's Hill ;  an  Torran  shuas  and  an  Torran  shios, 
the  wester  and  the  easter  hillock. 

Lower  Rarichie — G.  Bail'  a'  phuill,  Pool-town. 

Drumdil — G.   Druim(a)  daol,  Beetle-ridge,  west  of 
Wester  Rarichie.     Below  it  is  Croit  Bhreunan, 
the  little  rotten  croft. 

Pitcalnie— Pitcahan  1662;  G.  Baile-chailnidh  ;  T 
silent  in  English  ;  an  obscure  name. 

Pitculzean — Revived  as  the  name  of  Westfield, 
which  was  of  old  Meikle  Pitcalzean  ;  Pitcalzeane 
1581,  Pitcalzean  1598  ;  G.  Bail'  a'  choillean,  town 
of  the  little  wood,  as  is  proved  by  Tobar  na  coille, 
well  of  the  wood,  on  the  place. 

Culnaha— Oulnahaw  1611  ;  G.  Cul-na-h-atha,  Kiln- 
nook  or  Kiln-back,  for  it  is  practically  impossible 


in  such  cases  to  distinguish  cuil,  recess,  from  cul, 
back.  With  it  goes  CadJi  a  bhreacaich,  path  of 
the  spotted  place. 

Culinald — Culnald  cum  ustrina  lie  kill  die  Nig, 
1634  (Culnald  with  the  kiln,  called  the  kiln  of 
Nigg) ;  Burn-nook,  now  part  of  Nigg  Farm.  The 
streamlet  in  question  flows  through  the  gully  at 
Nigg  Church. 

Strath  of  Pitcalnie— Culderare  1611  ;  G.  Srath 
chuilt-eararaidh  ;  eararadh  is  the  process  of 
parching  corn  ;  cuilt  occurs  passim  in  Perthshire 
and  elsewhere,  e.g.,  a  chuilt  rainich,  the  ferny 
'  cuilt ' ;  doubtless  the  Aberdeenshire  Cult-s.  The 
meaning  of  this  obsolete  word  seems  to  be  some- 
thing like  '  nook ' ;  it  may  be  cuil,  O.  Ir.  cuil,  with 
excrescent  '  t.'  Cuilt-eararaidh  would  thus  mean 
the  nook  of  parching.  In  this  Strath  is  Cnoc 
Ghaisgeach.  From  a  loch  in  the  hill  above  it 
flows  Allt  an  damhain  (O.S.M.  Aultandown), 
burn  of  the  little  ox. 

Balnabruach — Kindeis  Wester,  within  the  barony 
of  Ballinbreich,  1650  Ret.  ;  Bank-town.  Near  it 
is  Cnoc  na  h-iolaire,  Eagle-hill. 

Balnapaliag — A  hybrid,  Paling-town  ;  there  were 
a  number  of  small  plots  of  land  separated  by 
'  palings.' 

Castlecraig — G.  Oaisteal  Chrag  (sic);  now  the 
name  of  a  farm,  on  which  may  yet  be  traced  the 
lines  of  the  castle  built  by  William  the  Lion  in 
1179.  Its  name  was  Dun  Sgath,  fort  of  dread, 
now  English  Dunskaith.  The  farm  of  Castlecraig 
includes  several  holdings  formerly  distinct  :  an 

NIGG.  53 

Annaid,the  4nnat  (Annot  1611  ;  Rhidorach,  the 
dark  slope ;  Culbinn,  back  (or  nook)  of  the  hill, 
and  Dunsgath,  Dunskaith. 

Bayfield — Formerly  Meikle  Kindeace  ;  G.  Cinndeis 
mh5r,  or  Cinndeis  Rob'son  shuas,  Wester  Kin- 
deace of  Robertson,  from  William  Robertson,  a 
burgess  of  Inverness,  who  bought  it  and  the  fol- 
lowing in  1629.  The  name  was  changed  to 
Bayfield  by  John  Mackenzie,  commander  of  the 
'  Prince  Kaunitz,'  who  bought  the  estate  about 
1788  (v.  Nevile  Reid's  'Earls  of  Ross."). 

Ankerville— G.  Cinn-deis  bhig,  Little  Kindeace  ; 
also  Easter  Kindeace;  bought  in  1721  by  Alex- 
ander Ross  (locally  known  as  Polander  Ross),  late 
merchant  at  Cracow,  who  changed  the  name  (v. 
'Earls  of  Ross'  and  N.S.A.) — v.  Kindeace  in 
Kilmuir  Easter. 

Carse  of  Bayfield — G.  Mor'oich  Cinndeis,  Carse  of 
Kindeace,  or  simply,  a  Mhor'oich. 

Gulliss— Culisse  1296  ;  Culuys  1351  ;  Culliss  alias 
Cullenderie,  1642  ;  G.  Cul  an  lios,  back  of  the 
'  lios ;'  lios,  now  garden,  formerly  meant  an 
enclosure  or  fort  with  an  earthen  wall ;  cf.  Lis- 
more.  Rare  in  northern  place-names.  Near 
Culliss  was  Muileann  Ach-railean,  Achrailean 
Mill,  cf.  Badrallich  in  Lochbroom. 

Blackhili — G.  an  cnoc  dubh. 

Hill  Of  Nigg— -G.  Binn  Nig  ;  of  old  '  the  Bishop's 

Big  Audle — A  channel  in  the  bay,  from  Norse 
va<5ill,  a  ford.  There  is  also  an  oitir,  the  sea- 


The  Three  Kings— G.  Creag  Harail,  Harold's  Rock. 
This  skerry  off  the  Nigg  coast  is  called  in  the 
N.S.A.  The  King's  Sons.  The  story  goes  that 
three  sons  of  a  Danish  prince,  sailing  to  avenge 
their  sister's  wrongs,  were  wrecked  here.  Their 
graves  were  marked  by  the  sculptured  stones  of 
Hilton,  Shandwick,  and  Nigg.  Another  legend 
of  their  burial  is  given  below. 

Of  all  Ross-shire  parishes,  Nigg  is,  in  proportion 
to  its  size,  the  richest  in  wells.  Most  have 
names,  but  some  that  appear  in  the  following  list 
no  longer  rise  to  the  surface  at  their  proper 
place  : — 

Tobar  Cormaig — Cormac's  well,  at  Shandwick  farm- 

Tobar  Cnoc  Coinnich— Well  of  Kenneth's  hill,  i.e., 
the  hill  above  Easter  Rarichie. 

Glagaig — Now  closed,  to  the  south  of  the  road  at 
Torran  shuas,  '  the  little  noisy  one ;'  cf.  glagan, 
the  clapper  of  a  mill ;  glagar,  a  prating  fellow. 

Sul  bi — Cows'  eye,  i.e.,  well-eye  at  which  cattle 
came  to  drink  ;  in  front  of  the  old  curate's  house 
at  Easter  Rarichie. 

Tobar  na  h-iu — At  the  wester  side  of  Cnoc 
coille  na  tobarach,  Well-wood  hill,  which  is  the 
Gaelic  name  of  the  so-called  Fairy  hill  or  Danish 
fort,  really  a  Celtic  hill  fort,  at  Easter  Rarichie. 
Hard  by  this  well  once  stood  a  tree  whose 
branches  bent  over  the  water,  and  while  the  tree 
stood,  the  well  cured  '  white  swelling.'  The  tree 
was  cut,  and  the  well  struck.  The  following 

NIGG.  55 

rhyme  in  connection  with  this  tale  shows  the  sort 
of  feeling  with  which  such  wells  were  regarded  : — 

Tobar  na  h-iu,  Tobar  na  h-iu, 

's  aim  duit  bu  chumha  bhi  uasal  ; 

tha  leabaidh  deis  ann  an  iuthairnn 

do  'n  fhear  a  ghearr  a'  chraobh  mu  d'  chluasan.1 

Well  of  the  yew,  Well  of  the  yew  ! 2 
to  thee  it  is  that  honour  is  due ; 
a  bed  in  hell  is  prepared  for  him 
who  cut  the  tree  about  thine  ears. 

Tobar  nam  puill  linn— Well  of  the  lint  pools, 

above  Wester  Rarichie. 
Tobar  nan  geala  (or  deala)  mdra— Well  of  the  big 

leeches,    between    Wester   Rarichie   and   Culliss. 

This  well  was  insulted  and  is  not  what  it  was. 
Tobar  Sein  Sutharlain — Jane  Sutherland's  well,  at 

Tobar  a'  bhaistidh — Baptismal  well,  at  Ankerville, 

just   above   the   old    U.P.    Church.       Otherwise, 

tobair  Eapaig  Ghearr,  Eppy  Gair's  well. 
Tobar  Eadhain  Bhaist— John  Baptist's  well,  beside 

Chapelhill  Church. 

Tobar  a*  Oh6irneil— The  Colonel's  well  (Colonel 
Ross),  at  Nigg  Farm. 

Tobar  na  coille— At  Pitcalzean  ;  G.  Bail'  a 

Tobar  Alaidh  Bhodhsa— Sandy  Vass's  well,  sup- 
plies Westfield  house. 

1  The  two  last  lines  would  be  rendered  less  rugged  by  reading 
tha  leabaidh  deis  an  iuthairnn  do'n  fhear 
a  ghear  a'  chraobh  mu  d'  chluasan. 

aThis  translation  supposes  "  iu"  to  represent  Ir.  e6,  a  yew  tree. 


Tobar  Dun-Sgath— Dunskaith  well. 

Tobar  na  h-6iteachan — On  the  top  of  Nigg  hill,. 

famous  water,  used  by  the  Nigg  smugglers. 
Tobar  cadha  'n  ruigh— Ca'an  ruigh  well. 

Tobar  na  slainte — Well  of  health,  near  Shand- 
wick  Village,  and  noted  for  its  healing  powers. 

Tobar  na'  muc— Pigs'  well,  by  the  shore,  west  of 

Leisgeig — The  little  lazy  one,  near  Shandwick ; 
its  water  comes  in  very  small  quantity. 

Tobar  a*  chlaidheimh  duibh  an  Eirinn,  's  i  air 

aghaidh  na  greine  an  port  an  Druidh  (al.  a 
dh-eirich  an  Port  an  Druidh) — Well  of  the  black 
sword  in  Erin,  facing  the  sun  in  the  Druid's  port 
(or,  that  rose  in  the  Druid's  port).  It  does  not 
rise,  but  gushes  out  of  the  rock,  and  is  excellent 
water.  Port  an  Druidh  is  west  of  Shandwick. 

Besides  the  old  churchyard  at  the  Church  of 
Nigg,  there  are,  or  were,  four  other  places  of 
burial  in  the  parish. 

At  Nigg  Rocks,  below  Cadha  Neachdain,  there  is 
a  graveyard,  now  covered  with  shingle.  Here 
the  Danish  princes  were  buried.  Their  grave- 
stones came  from  Denmark,  and  had  iron  rings 
fastened  in  them  to  facilitate  their  landing.  So 
local  tradition.  This  most  unlikely  spot  for  a 
graveyard  was  not  selected  without  some  good 
reason,  the  most  probable  being  that  hermits 
once  lived  in  the  caves,  whence  the  place  was 
reckoned  holy  ground. 

At  Clach'  charaidh,  the  sculptured  stone  near 
Shandwick,  all  unbaptized  infants  of  the  parish 

NIGG.  57 

were  buried  up  till  fairly  recent  times.  It  is  now 

At  Easter  Rarichie — Here  the  curate  of  Nigg  lived, 
and  the  field  behind  his  house  is  called  '  raon  a 
chlaidh,'  the  graveyard  field.  The  plough  goes 
over  it  now,  and  formerly  used  to  strike  the 
gravestones,  but  these  are  now  removed. 

Near  Shandwiek  Farm-house,  to  the  south-west, 

between  the  sea  and  the  rock  was  a  graveyard, 
the  name  of  which  I  failed  to  find.  Some  of  the 
stones  are  still  visible. 

The  following  are  the  paths  (cadha)  leading  to 
the  shore  beneath  the  rocks  :—  Cadha  nan 
caorach,  sheeps'  path  ;  Cadha  sgriodaidh,  shingly 
path  ;  Cadha  nan  suibhean,  path  of  rasp-berries  ; 
Cadh  a'  bhodaich,  the  old  man's  path  ;  Cadha  a! 
bhreacaich,  pass  of  the  speckled  place  ;  Cadha 
Neachdain,  Nectan's  path  ;  Cadha  'n  ruigh,  path 
of  the  slope  ;  Cadha  cul  losaidh ;  Cadha  togail 
toinn,  a  path  with  one  difficult  part  where  a 
push  from  behind  is  requisite  ;  Cadha  port  an 
druidh,  west  of  Shandwiek,  path  of  the  Druid's 
port ;  Spardan  nan  gobhar,  goats'  roost. 



Logic — Logy  1270;  G.  Lagaidh  ;  'lag,'  a  hollow, 
with  -aidh  ending.  The  O.S.A.  correctly  says  that 
the  name  is  derived  from  the  little  hollow  in 
which  the  old  church  at  Marybank  stands. 
That  church  is  probably  pre-Eeformation,  but 
there  must  have  been  a  still  older  church  or 
churches  on  the  same  site.  The  old  grave-yard 
around  it  was  used  within  living  memory,  and  has 
some  fine  stones,  but  is  unenclosed  and  disgrace- 
fully neglected.  On  the  Kilmuir  side  of  the  river 
is  Cadha  an  t-sagairt,  the  priest's  path. 

Calrossie  (accented  on  first  syllable) — Glossery  1476, 
Calrosse  1479,  Calrossie  1586.  The  1476  record 
(Reg.  Mag.  Sig.)  runs : — '  The  lands  of  Mekle 
Meithaute,  Drumgill,  Glossery,  Mekle  Alane,'  &c. 
The  1479  record  (Ex.  Bolls)  is— *  Alane  Mekle, 
Calrosse,  Drummethat,'  &c.,  so  that  there  need  be 
no  doubt  that  Glossery  and  Calrossie  are  one  and 
the  same.  Glossery  has  the  advantage  of  being 
intelligible — '  glasaraidh/  green  place,  or,  possibly, 
green  shieling ;  but,  if  we  assume  this  to  be  the 
true  original  form,  the  change  to  Calrossie  involves 
a,  double  metathesis,  explicable  perhaps  in  itself 
(cf.  Kiltarlity  from  Cilltalorgain),  but  startling  as 
involving  a  change  from  a  well-known  and  signifi- 
cant combination  to  an  obscure  one.  Of  course, 


Glossery  may  be  an  error  of  the  scribe.  Calrossie, 
as  it  stands,  is  extremely  difficult,  especially  in 
view  of  its  accent  on  the  first  syllable,  which 
debars  any  explanation  such  as  '  Coille  Hois,' 
Wood  of  Eoss,  or  '  Coille  Ehois,'  Wood  of  the 

Arabella — Formerly  '  the  Bog.'  It  was  reclaimed 
in  the  earlier  half  of  the  nineteenth  century  by 
Hugh  Eose  of  Calrossie,  &c.,  who  named  it  after 
his  wife,  Arabella  Phips.  Hence  also  Phipsfield, 
near  it. 

Glastullich — Glastollich  1479;  '  glas,'  green,  '  tul- 
aich,'  hillock.  It  is  west  of  Calrossie,  and  the 
'  glas '  may  be  an  argument  in  favour  of  Glossery. 

Pitmaduthy— Pitmadwy  1370,  Pettecowy  1578  ; 
G.  Pit  'ic  Dhuibh,  also  Baile  'ic  Dhuibh,  Mac- 
duff's  stead.  Here,  and  also  in  the  case  of  the 
Black  Isle  Belmaduthy,  the  modern  Gaelic  form 
is  decisive  against  the  common,  and,  at  first  sight, 
plausible,  connection  with  St  Duthac ;  cf.  Pett 
mal-duib  (Book  of  Deer).  Near  it  is  Baile  na  toin, 
Auchownatone  1623,  "the  part  of  Pitmaduthy 
commonly  called  Auchnaton,"  1691.  Next  Auch- 
naton  was  Drumgill,  now  obsolete. 

Lochan  nan  tunnag — Duck-loch. 

Brenachie— G.  Breanagaich  (long  <n');  cf.  Brink- 
nach  1610.  The  1610  reference  (Eeg.  Mag.  Sig.) 
runs  : — "  The  house  and  lands  of  Logie,  with  the 
fields  called  Eiharrald,  Auldmuiramoir,  Achim- 
moir,  and  the  Bus  of  Preischachleif,  and  the 
mosses  of  Brinknach  and  Derrileane  with  the 


shielings  and  grassums  bounded  by  tbe  cairn  of 
stones  called  cairnne  na  marrow  alias  Deidmannis- 
cairne,  and  the  burn  (torrente)  called  Aldainal- 
banache  alias  Scottismeriisburne,  in  the  barony  of 
Nig."  Riharrald  is  '  ruighe-Harrald,'  Harold's 
slope,  evidently  from  Norse  times.  It  is  a  strip 
of  land  near  the  river,  towards  the  western 
extremity  of  Marybank  Farm,  under  the  Heather 
Park,  still  known  as  Ri-horral.  There  is  ako 
Bi-horral  Well,  and,  in  the  river,  Ri-horral  Pool. 
The  two  following  places  may  also  have  been  part 
of  Marybank.  The  '  Bus '  in  its  G.  form  means 
'  the  bush  of  the  gate  ' — '  preas  'chachaileith,'  a 
word  intelligible  to  few  Easter  Hoss  people  now. 
Derrileane  is  modern  Torelean,  G.  Torr  leathan, 
broad  eminence.  The  cairn  must  be  that  in  the 
wood  north  of  Torelean.  The  burn,  '  Scotsburn,' 
is  to  the  west  of  Marybank  Farm,  and  is  now 
practically  dried  up.  There  are  local  traditions  of 
a  battle  fought  here  by  the  '  Scots,'  supported  by 
cairns  in  Scotsburn  Wood  and  by  the  names 
Lochan  a'  Chlaidheimh,  Sword  Loch,  and  Bewrns 
a'  Chlaidheimh,  Sword  Cleft  (bearnas). 

Marybank— G.  Lagaidh  (no  article),  from  the  '  lag,' 
or  hollow,  which  gives  its  name  to  the  parish. 
The  modern  name  is  from  Lady  Mary  Ross  of 

Ballachraggan — Rock-town  ;  otherwise  L6n  nam 
ban,  the  women's  mead.  In  the  wood  near  it  is 
the  Clootie  Well,  or  Fuaran  bean  Mhuiristean, 
much  frequented  on  the  first  Sabbath  of  May. 


Creag  a'  Chait— Cat-rock. 

Leinster  Wood — So  called,  it  is  said,  in  honour  of 
a  Duchess  of  Leinster. 

Loch  Buidhe — Yellow  loch. 

Badnaguin — G.  Bad  na'  gaoithean,  windy  copse. 
It  is  near  the  top  of  Scotsburn  Hill. 

An  Dun — The  Dun,  at  east  end  of  Strathrory.  01  i 
people  know  it  as  Dim-gobhal,  Fork-fort.  They 
will  have  it,  however,  to  mean  Fort  of  Goll,  the 
Fenian  hero ;  but  '  gobhal '  is  distinctly  two 
syllables,  and,  besides,  there  is  a  typical  fork  at 
the  spot,  formed  by  two  deep  ravines.  The  name 
appears  as  Dungowill  1616  (v.  Scotsburii),  Dun- 
gald  1674.  The  dun,  or  fort,  is  the  second  largest 
in  Scotland  (Christison's  'Hill-forts'),  and  was  in 
its  time  an  awkward  place  to  tackle.  Its  forti- 
fications are  well  worth  examination  (v.  Trans, 
of  Inverness  Field  Club,  Vol.  V.). 

Coag — G.  An  Cumhag  ;  '  cumhang,'  narrow — the 
narrow  place  where  the  river  enters  Scotsburn 

Garbil  Leitir — The  rough  slope,  just  beyond  the 
'  Cumhag.' 

Dalrannich — Dale  of  bracken. 

Scotsburn — The  name  has  now  shifted  from  the 
burn  to  the  farm  of  Scotsburn,  apparently  of  old 
called  in  part  Cabrach,  Cabreithe  1571,  and  in 
part  Ulladale.  In  1616  appear  on  record  (Heg. 
Mag.  Sig.)  '  the  church  lands  of  Ulladill  with  their 
crofts  called  Hifleuche  and  Kiddorache  alias  the 
Glen  of  Ulladill,  the  wood  called  Dungowill 


between  the  Girthcroce  dividing  the  common 
lands  of  the  Burgh  of  Tayne  from  Ulladiil,"  &c. 
The  Glen  is  now  called  the  Glen  of  Scotsburn. 
"  The  Commonty  "  is  still  well  known. 

Parkhill — Site  of  the  post-office  near  Balnagowan 
Bridge.  The  name  was  transferred  along  with 
the  P.O.  from  the  real  Parkhill,  two  miles  further 

Poll  a*  Bhathaidh — Drowning  pool,  near  the  Free 
Church  Manse.  This  was  the  drowning  pool  of 
the  barony  of  Nigg.  The  hanging  hill  is  near  it, 
G.  Cnoc  na  croiche.  Further  south,  near  the 
railway,  is  Cnoc  a'  mhoid,  the  Moot-hill. 

Meddat — Drummethat  and  Mekle  Methat  1479  ; 
(Kilmure)  Madath  1541,  (Kilmure)  Meddett  1575. 
Local  pronunciation  has  a  tendency  to  Merret ; 
G.  Meitheid.  For  the  terminal  suffix  cf.  Rat  from 
rkth-d,  Bialaid  from  beul,  Caolaid  from  caol, 
Croaghat  from  cruach.  This  leaves  a  root  'meith/ 
which  is  probably  connected  with  maoth,  soft  ; 
meith,  sappy ;  meath,  fail,1  giving  the  meaning, 
which  is  appropriate,  of  soft  or  spongy  place  ; 
cf.  MuthiL 

Shandwick — Transferred  from  Shandwick,  Nigg. 

1  '  Na  h-alltaichean  a'  fas,  agus  na  h-aibhnichean  a'  meath,'  '  the  burns 
growing  and  the  rivers  failing,'  is  a  proverb  applied  to  the  growth  of  new 
families  and  the  decay  of  old  ones. 



Kilmor  1296,  Kilmure  Madath  1541,  Kilmure 
Meddett  1575— G.  Cill-Mhoir,  Mary's  Church. 

Milntown — '  Myltoun  of  Methat  with  its  two  mills ' 
1479;  G.  Baile-mhuilin  or  Baile-mhuilin  Anndra, 
from  Andrew  Munro,  who  built  Milntown  Castle, 
c.  1500,  or  his  son,  Black  Andrew  Munro.  Now 
officially  known  as  Milntown  of  New  Tarbat. 

New  Tarbat — So  called  by  the  Cromartie  family, 
from  Tarbat,  where  their  former  seat  was  (v. 

Kildary — G.  Caoldaraidh,  based  on  caol,  narrow, 
and  analysed  caol-d-ar-aidh,  "  d  "  being  euphonic. 
The  'narrow  place'  in  question  is  doubtless  the 
river  gorge  between  Kildary  Farm  and  the  parish 
of  Logie. 

Apitauld  (pron.  Abijald) — G.  Ath-pit-allt ;  '  ath,' 
ford,  '  pet,'  baile,  '  allt,'  burn.  The  place  is  close 
to  Balnagown  Bridge.  '  Pit '  has  survived  here 
owing  to  the  prefixing  of  '  ath,'  ford,  which  caused 
the  sense  of  '  pit '  to  be  obscured.  Were  it  not 
for  this,  the  name  would  no  doubt  have  become 

Balnagown — Balnegovne  1375,  Smith's  town;  the 
modern  Gaelic  is  as  the  English  form.  Near  the 
castle  is  a  steep  old  bridge  over  the  river,  still  in 
good  order,  known  as  '  the  King's  Bridge,'  and 


traditionally  associated  with  James  IV.     It  leads 
to  the  King's  Causeway — the  old  road  to  Tain. 

Polnicol — Poll  Neacail,  Nicol's  pool.  Between  the 
farms  of  Polnicol  and  Garty,  on  the  north  side  of 
the  road  is  a  narrow  strip  called  the  Lint-pools. 

Garty  —  Gorty  1368  ;  '  gart,'  standing  corn  ; 
'  goirtean,'  small  field  of  corn,  W.  *  garth.'  Also 

Shives — G.  Na  Ruigheannan ;  le  Roy  is  1479,  le 
Ruvis  1487,  later  Huffis  ;  '  ruigh,'  land  sloping  up 
to  a  hill  in  ridges.  The  G.  form  is  peculiar,  and 
looks  like  the  pi.  of  a  diminutive  '  ruighean,'  but 
the  pronunciation  does  not  countenance  this.  It 
is  probably  to  be  compared  with  such  plurals  as 
ainmeannan,  l&umannan,  etc.  Cf.  Kin-rive.  The 
present  farm  of  Hhives  contains,  in  addition  to  the 
ancient  le  E/oyis,  three  other  tracts  whose  names 
appear  in  record  and  are  not  yet  wholly  lost  :— 
Auchoyle,  the  northern  part  of  the  farm,  partly  a 
slope  once  heavily  wooded,  now  rough  pasture. 
Achawyle  1351,  Achenwyl  1368,  Achagyle  1619  ; 
*  achadh,'  field,  and  '  gall,'  stranger.  Near  it  was 
Badferne,  now  obsolete.  Knoknapark  1527  and 
passim  in  E.R.  This -was  the  hillocky  part  to  the 
N.E.  of  Delny  Station,  where  the  P.O.,  '  Parkhill,' 
formerly  stood.  The  P.O.  and  the  name  have 
now  been  shifted  two  miles  east,  just  beyond 
Balnagown  Bridge.  Badebaa  1587,  etc.;  also 
Badebay.  This  is  the  part  of  Ehives  lying  south 
of  the  railway,  still  known  locally  as  '  the  Batty- 
bay.'  Before  being  reclaimed,  it  was  dotted  with 
birch  clumps ;  hence  '  bad  a'  bheith,'  birch  copse. 


Delny — Dalgeny  1356  ;  G.  Deilgnidh,  based  on 
clealg,  prickle,  whence  deilgne,  thorns  ;  deilgneach, 
prickly  ;  *  place  of  prickles.'  Here  stood  a  castle 
of  the  Earls  of  Ross. 

Tomabrock — G.  Torr  na'  broc,  Mound  of  the 

Balvack — Bail  a'  bhac,  Moss-town  ;  between  Delny 
Station  and  the  U.F.C.  Manse. 

Barbaraville — G.  an  cladach,  the  shore  ;  its  east 
end  is  Portlich,  G.  port  fhlich  (loc.),  the  wet  port 
—there  being  no  proper  place  for  landing. 

Polio— G.  Am  Pollan;  Estir  Polga  and  Westir 
Polga  1479  ;  diminutive  of  '  poll/  pool,  or  hole. 

Balintraid — Balandrade  1479,  Balnatraid  1507; 
'  baile  '  and  '  traigh,'  sea-shore,  genitive,  traghad. 

Priesthill — Cnoc  an  t-sagairt ;  the  pre-Reformation 
manse  and  glebe  were  here.  Somewhere  to  the 
west  of  it  is  said  to  have  been  a  drowning  pool, 
Poll  a'  bhathaidh,  but  its  site  can  hardly  be 
identified.  John  the  Baptist's  Well  is,  or  was, 
west  of  Priesthill,  near  the  burn. 

Broomhill — Bromehill  1634  appears  to  represent 
Ardunagage  1479,  Ardnagag  1487,  Ardnagaag 
1586;  'gag,'  cleft,  chink;  hence,  Height  of  the 
cleft.  Of.  Gaick. 

Inchfuir— Inchfure  1463,Petfure  1479,Inchfurealias 
Pitfure  1539,  G.  I's-fiur  (i's  =  innis) ;  interesting  as 
showing  the  unique,  or  at  least  very  rare,  change 
of  '  pit '  to  '  inch  '  (innis) ;  cf.  Pitfure  in  Black 
Isle  and  in  Rogart,  Porin  in  Strathconan, 
Dochfour,  Balfour,  etc.  In  the  "  Book  of  Deer  " 



".here  occurs  "  nice  furene/'  unto  Furene,  which 
appears  to  be  an  aspirated  Porin  ;  '-fure  '  is  from 
the  root  seen  in  Welsh  '  pori,'  to  pasture,  and 
4  poriant/  pasture.  Thus  '  Inchfuir  '  means 
pasture  meadow. 

Kiildeace,  G.  Cinn-deis,  has  been  transferred  from 
Nigg.  William  Robertson,  of  Inverness,  acquired 
the  estate  of  Kindeace,  in  Nigg,  in  1629.  The 
Nigg  estate  was  subsequently  disposed  of,  and  the 
family  acquired  the  estate  now  known  as  Kindeace, 
in  Kilmuir,  of  old  Inchfure,  retaining  the  style 
"  of  Kindeace."  '  Cinn,'  locative  of  '  ceann  ;' 
'  deis/  perhaps  loc.  of  '  dias,'  an  ear  of  corn ; 
1  corn-head  /  suitable,  but  doubtful. 

Lonevlne — G.  Lon  a'  bhinn  ;  '  Ion/  marsh,  or  low 
damp  ground  ;  '  binn/  gen.  of  '  beann,'  hill. 

Tullich— G.  An  Tulaich,  locative  of  '  tulach,'  hillock. 

Burracks — G.  Na  buraich  ;  '  burach/  digging  ; 
'  the  diggings  ' — for  peat  and  turf.  The  place  is 
a  rough  peat-moss. 

Dorachan — Extension  of  '  doire/  copse.  Cf.  for 
formation  Giuthsachan,  place  of  fir. 

Dnminault — Druim  (n)  an  allt,  '  ridge  of  the  burns/ 
one  of  \vhich  flows  into  the  Balnagown  Water. 

Claisdhll — '  Clais/  furrow,  narrow  and  shallow 
valley  ;  ' dubh/  bkck. 

Torran — G.  An  Torran,  diminutive  of  '  torr/  heap  ; 
of  old  Torran  Hath,  grey  hillock. 

Badachonachar — Baddiequhoncar,Baddiequhonchar 
1571  ;  *  bad/  copse  ;  '  conachair,  (l)  uproar,  (2)  a 
sick  person  who  neither  gels  worse  nor  better 


(Macbain's  G.  Diet.);  a  large  peat-moss  in  the 
upper  part  of  the  parish.  In  this  case  it  may  be 
from  the  proper  name  Conachar.  Cf.  Coir'  a' 
Chonacbair  ( Kincardine). 

Dalnaclerach  —  '  Dail/  dale,  meadow  ;  '  clerach/ 
cleric  ;  clerics'  dale.  It  appears  to  have  formed 
part  of  the  church  lands  of  Kilrnuir,  and  is  pro- 
bably included  in  the  grant  made  in  1541  by 
"  Master  David  Dunbar,  chaplain  of  the  chaplainry 
of  the  Virgin  Mary  in  the  parish  of  Kilmure 
Madath  to  Thomas  Ross  of  Balintrait,  etc.,  of  the 
church-lands  called  Priestishill  and  Ulladule, 
reserving  to  himself  and  his  successors  on«  acre 
of  the  lands  of  Priestishill,  lying  near  the  manse 
on  the  south  side  for  a  manse  and  garden  to  be 
there  constructed."  Ulladule  (v.  Logie  Easter) 
was  the  old  name  of  Scotsburn,  which  is  adjacent 
to  Dalnaclerach. 

Kinrive  —  G.  Ceann-ruigh,  Kennachrowe  1362, 
Candenrew  1547,  Canderwiff'  1549,  Kenroy  1556  ; 
'  ceann,'  head,  '  ruigh,'  ridgy  slope.  Kenrive  is 
the  hill  to  which  the  land  slopes  up  from  the  sea 
in  a  succession  of  terraces.  The  various  spellings 
are  suggestive  of  the  way  in  which  the  G.  '  ruigh  ' 
became  Anglicised — '  rive  '  (pron.  riv).  Rhives,  in 
the  low  part  of  the  parish,  shows  the  plural  form 
in  Gaelic  and  in  English. 

GnoC-Still  (west  of  Inchfure) — Hill  of  the  strip,  i.e., 
strip  of  grass.  '  Still '  is  genitive  of  '  steall/ 
which  in  0.  Ir.  is  £  stiall/  and  means  a  belt, 
girdle,  strip,  piece  of  anything.  Cf.  Loch  Still  ; 
Caisteal  Still  (now  Castlehill),  Inverness. 


Cam  Totaig  (north  of  Cnoc-still) — Diminutive  of 
'  tobhta,'  knoll.  The  cairn  has  disappeared,  but 
the  place  is  still  counted  uncanny. 

Heathfleld— G.  Cal-fhraochaidh  ;  Kalruquhy  1479, 
Calrechy  1586,  Calrichie  1616,  from  cala,  a  wet 
meadow  (which  exactly  describes  it),  and  fraoch, 
heather.  Cf.  Calatruim,  hollow  of  the  elder 
(Joyce)  ;  Freuchie,  now  Castle-Grant. 

Strathrory — G.  Srath-uaraidh  ;  Strathury  1362, 
Straithworie  1563,  Strathworie  1628,  but  Strath- 
rowrie  1571.  The  modern  English  form  is  due  to 
the  false  analogy  of  the  personal  name  '  Ruaraidh,' 
Rory,  which  sometimes  affects  even  the  Gaelic. 
The  Old  Stat.  Ace.  of  Logie  states  (referring  to 
the  Rory  or  Balnagown  Water) ;  "  The  only  river 
in  the  parish  goes  generally  by  the  name  of  Abhor 
or  river,"  and  in  accordance  with  a  custom  so 
general  as  to  be  almost  a  rule,  the  Strath  should 
take  its  name  from  the  river.  '  Srath-abharaidh  ' 
might  yield  Srath-uaraidh  ;  cf.  the  dialectic  change 
of  farnhair,  giant,  into  fua'r,  e.g.  Tigh  'n  fhua'r, 
Novar.  The  New  Stat.  Ace.  suggests  uar,  water- 
spout, which  is  worth  considering.  The  river  is 
liable  to  sudden  spates. 

Drilim  na  gaoith — Windy  ridge  ;  a  hill  in  the 
extreme  north-west  of  the  parish. 

Craskag— The  name,  now  obsolete,  of  the  burn 
issuing  from  Achnacloich  loch,  and  running  at  the 
foot  of  Kinrive  hill — the  little  cross  (burn)  ;  cf. 
Allt  Tarsuinn  (Kincardine). 

Allt  Eapaidh — Noisy  burn  ;  north  side  of  Strath- 
rory; boundary  between  Balnagown  and  Kindeace. 



Rosskeen — Kosken  1270,  Roscuyn  1640;  G.  Bos- 
cuithnidh  ;  '  ros,'  headland,  referring  most  pro- 
bably to  the  promontory  on  which  Invergordon 
stands,  now  called  '  An  Rudha.'  The  latter  part 
is  rather  difficult.  Dr  Joyce  notes  in  Ireland 
such  names  as  Quinhie  and  Feaghquinny,  from 
Ir.  cuinche,  pronounced  nearly  queenha,  the 
arbutus  tree.  This  suits  the  phonetics  of  Ros- 
cuithnidh,  which  would  thus  mean  arbutus  head. 
In  a  field  by  the  roadside,  near  the  Parish  Church, 
is  Clach  d  Mheirlich,  the  thief's  stone, 

Saltburn — G.  Alltan  an  t-saluinn.  Explained  from 
the  tradition  that  cargoes  of  salt  were  hid  here  in 
the  times  when  there  was  a  duty  payable  on  that 

Ord — '  Ord,'  hammer,  in  root  connected  with  '  ard,' 
high  ;  secondary  meaning,  '  rounded  hill ' ;  but 
the  eminence  in  this  case  is  very  slight. 

Inverbrekie— Inchbreky  1475,  Innachbreky  1511, 
Uvachbrekie  1608,  Innerbreky,  1512,  Innerbreke, 
1533.  The  name  is  now  applied  to  the  farm  lying 
north  of  Invergordon,  but  formerly  included  the 
site  of  the  town.  The  '  inver '  implies  a  stream, 
which  must  have  been  called  the  '  Breakie,'  from 
'  breac,'  dappled,  and  is  probably  that  which  enters 
the  firth  near  Rosskeen  church.  The  surface  has 


been  much  changed  by  cultivation  and  draining. 

Inchbreky  is  'the  meadow  of  the  Breaky.' 
Invergordon  appears  in  Pocock's  Tour  in  1760.     So 

called    by   a    former    proprietor,    Sir   Alexander 

The    Cromlet  —  The    slope    behind    Invergordon ; 

*  orom-leathad,'  sloping  hill-side. 
Kincraig — Kynnacrege  1479  ;  G.  Ceann  na  creige, 


Achintoul — G.  Ach  an  t-sabhail,  Barn-field. 
Achnagarron — Probably  'ach,'  field,  and  '  carran,' 

spurrey  ;  Ir.  '  carran,'  scurvy  grass.     Locally  from 

'  gearran/  a  gelding,  but  the  phonetics  do  not  suit. 
Kosebank — A   modern   name  ;  ancient    Culquhnze 

1477,  Culkenzie  1586;  '  cuil,'  nook,  '  Coinneach,' 

Kenneth  ? 
Newmore — G.   An  ne'  nahor,   the  great  glebe  (v. 

Church  names). 
Stoneyfield  probably  represents  Feauchlath  1479, 

Feachclathy    1487,    Feauchclachy    1507  — Faich 

nan  clach,  or,  Feith  nan  clach. 
Ooillyoiore — Kellymmoir  1571  ;  G.  A'  Choille  mhor, 

Big  wood. 
Rhidlllen — '  E-uigh/  land  sloping  up  to  a  hill,  and 

'  cuileann/  holly.     There  is  a  remarkably  fine  holly 

bush,  which  must  be  of  great  age. 
Riaskmore — '  Riasg,'  morass  with    sedge  or  dirk- 

grass  ;  '  mor,'  big. 
Tomich — '  Tom/    conical    hillock,    with    collective 

suffix  '  ach,'  in  locative — Place  of  hillocks. 
Inchindown — Inchedown   1571  ;    G.    I's    an    duin, 

Meadow  of  the  Dun,  innis,  as  often,  being  reduced 


to  is.  There  is  no  trace  of  a  fort,  but  Kinrive 
hill  in  the  part  immediately  behind  the  farm  is 
precipitous,  and  covered  with  stones.  Many 
large  cairns  were  removed  when  the  farm  was 
extended  about  forty  years  ago. 
Achnacloich  and  Dalnacloich — Fie'd  and  dale  of 
stones  ;  from  the  large  cairn  on  the  hillside,  north- 
east of  the  loch. 

Dalnavie,  Cnocnavie,  Nonakiln,  Inehnavie — (See 

Millcraig — Craigemylne     1479,     Cragmyln     1507; 

also  molendinum  de  Crag ;  G.  Muileann  na  creige 

— Rock-mill. 
Badcall — Badkall   1571   and  passim;  G.    Bad-call, 

hazel- clump  ;  to  the  east   of  Millcraig,  and  fast 

becoming  obsolete. 

Mulnafaa — '  Fuath,'  spectre — Goblin-mill. 
Caplich — '  Capull,'    horse,    mare — Place  of  horses. 

The  name  is  fairly  common. 
Obsdale — Obstuill  1548  ;  Norse  hops-dalr,  bay  dale ; 

from  the  small  bay  near  it. 
Culcairn — G.  Cul-chairn  ;  Culcarne  1571  ;  'back  of 

the    cairn/    i.e.,    Carn    na   Croiche,   the   hanging 

cairn,  on  the  hill  behind  it. 
Crossbills — Perhaps,  in    view   of  the   nearness  of 

Nonakiln,  the  name  may  be  ecclesiastical. 
Balnaguisich — Fir-wood  stead. 
Ardross — '  Ard-rois,'  height  of  Ross.     Blaeu's  Ard- 

ross  is  the  water-shed  between  Easter  and  Wester 

Ross,  which  may  have  been  correct  in  his  day. 

In  any  case,  Fear  Ard-rois  was  in  use  to  denote 


Laird  of  Ardross  (in  Rosskeen)  before  Sir  A. 
Matheson's  time. 

Ollillich — Culyeoth  Mekle  and  Culyeoch  Manach 
(Mid)  1479,  Chwleauchmeanach  and  Chwyulaich- 
mor  1571,  Cunlich  (Retours  and  Reg.  Mag.  Sig. 
passim),  '  Cumhang-lach,'  the  place  of  the  *  cumh- 
ang'  or  narrow  passage,  with  reference  to  the 
gorge  of  the  river  on  which  it  is  situated.  Cf. 
Coy-lum,  Badenoch  ;  Cuag,  in  Kilmuir  ;  '  cunglach' 
still  means  a  narrow  defile  in  modern  Gaelic. 

Dalneich — Horse-dale.     Cf.  Caplich. 

Glaick — Locative  of  *  glac,'  grip  ;  it  is,  as  it  were, 
in  the  grip  of  the  hills.  Very  common. 

Loanreoch  —  '  L6n/  low  meadow  ;  ;  riabhach/ 
brindled — from  copse  alternating  with  grass  and 

Balanrishallaich — Eraser's  town. 

Stittenham  seems  modern,  as  it  does  not  occur  on 
record.  Gaelic  accents  the  last  syllable. 

Strathy — G.  an  t-srathaidh — with  -aidh  ending. 

Cranilich — Locative  of  Crannach,  place  of  trees,  or 
abounding  in  trees  ;  G.  a'  Chrannaich. 

Srath-na-Frangach — ?  Tansy  Strath,  from  Franga- 
lus  or  lus  na  frang.  It  was  the  abode  of  the 
noted  cattle-thief,  "  Seileachan,"  the  site  of  whose 
house  is  said  to  be  still  distinguishable.  Near  it 
is  Allt  na  fuaralaich,  burn  of  the  cold  place  ; 
Aldnaquhorolache  1571. 

Coire-ghoibhnidh— Corryzewynie  1571,  ?corry  of 
the  smithy ;  at  the  west  end  of  Kinrive  Hill ;  cf. 
Ard  na  goibhne  in  Tanera.  But  possibly,  Corry 
of  the  wintry  stream,  0.  Ir.  gam,  winter ;  cf.  the 
Goineag,  Badenoch. 


Tolly — G.  Tollaidh,  probably  here  from  '  toll/  hole  ; 
'place  of  holes.'  Tollie-mylne,  alias  mylne- 
chaggane  appears  on  record.  The  lands  of  Tolly 
were  part  of  the  patrimony  of  the  Chapel  of 
Kildermorie.  Above  Tolly  are  Coire  Thollaidh 
and  Braigh  Thollaidh. 

Baldoon — G.  Bail'  an  duin,  town  of  the  dun.  There 
is  a  hill  fort  in  the  wood  near. 

Inchlumpie — G.  I's-lombaidh  ;  '  innis/  meadow, 
'lorn/  bare,  with  -aidh  ending.  The  'V  is 
euphonic.  The  place  is  a  narrow  level  strip  by 
the  river-side.  Above  it  is  am  Breac'radh,  the 
spotted  place  ;  cf.  am  bog'radh.  The  ground  rises 
up  to  Cnoc  an  t-seilich,  Willow-hill. 

Strathrusdale— Strathrustell  1691  ;  G.  Srath- 
rusdail ;  Norse  '  hruts-dalr,'  ram's  dale,  with  G. 
srath  prefixed.  This  name  is  interesting,  and 
suggestive  as  to  the  extent  and  the  character  of 
the  Norse  occupation  of  Easter  Ross. 

Aultanfearn — Alder-brooklet.  This  and  the  four 
following  are  in  Strathrusdale. 

Balnacraig— Rock-town. 

Dalreoich — Spotted  dale  ;  cf.  Dalbreak 

Balanlochan— Loch-town. 

Braeantra — Braighe  an  t-sraith,  Head  of  the  strath. 

Cnoc  an  t-sithean  beag  and  Cnoc  an  t-sithean 

mdr  are  hills  north  of  Strathrusdale.  '  Slth/ 
•  slthean,'  hill,  usually  grassy ;  especially  a  green 
fairy  hill ;  but  often  (as  here)  applied  to  high 
hills  with  rounded  tops.  Cf.  Schiehallion. 

Slthean  a*  choin  bhain — Hill  of  the  white  dog. 

Doire  leathan — Broad  copse. 


Beinn  Tarsuinn— Cross  hill.     Very  common. 

Garraran — G.  an  gar(bh)aran,  the  rough  place  ; 
from  garbh,  with  double  suffix ;  cf.  Cloch-ar-an, 
Giuths-ar-an,  &c 

Cam  Cuinneag — '  Cuinneag/  a  milking  pail.  The 
Cairn  (3000  ft.)  is  double  peaked,  and  I  am 
informed  that  the  '  Cuinneag '  proper  is  the 
western  and  higher  peak,  the  other  being  called 
Carn  Mairi,  from  the  name  of  a  girl  who  perished 
there  while  crossing  from  Strathcarron  to  Kilder- 
morie.  In  a  rock  on  the  Cuinneag  there  are 
several  clean-cut  hollows,  one  or  more  of  which 
is  tub  or  pail-shaped.  They  are  really  pot-holes 
caused  by  wind  action.  From  these  the  hill  is 
said  to  have  got  its  name ;  but  it  may  be  from 
the  fact  that,  when  viewed  from  a  distance,  the 
peaks  may  be  considered,  with  the  help  of  a  little 
goodwill,  to  represent  a  gigantic  cuinneag  with  its 
'  lug.'  This  is  the  explanation  of  the  Sutherland 

The  following  names,  belonging  either  to  Kil- 
muir  or  to  the  border  of  Rosskeen,  are  obsolete  : — 
Rawsnye  or  Risaurie,  Knokderruthoiil,  Ardachath 
(a  cultivated  field  on  Newmore),  Glascarne  (a 
cairn),  Knocknasteraa,  Abianemoir  (a  wood), 
Kirkchaistuil  or  Pollograyscheak  (a  hill),  Alda- 
naherar  (burn),  Tobirinteir  (well  in  Kinrive), 
Brakach,  Rawcharrache,  Rewchlaschenabaa,  Chan- 
deraig,  Binebreychst,  Correbruoch,  Alrnaddow. 
All  these  are  taken  from  the  marches  of  Newmore 
as  given  in  the  "  Origines  Parochiales'  for  1571. 

ALNESS.  75 


Alness — Alenes  1227  ;  G.  Alanais.  Local  tradition 
has  it  that  the  name  Alness  applies  primarily  to 
the  spot  where  the  Parish  Church  stands,  which  is 
at  once  probable  from  analogy,  and  confirmed  by 
old  maps  and  by  the  fact  that  south  of  the  church 
is  Pairc  Alanais,  Alness  Park.1  The  name,  there- 
fore, has  nothing  to  do  with  Norse  ness,  a  point. 
Its  ending  -ais  is  that  seen  in  Dallas,  etc. ,  and  the 
first  part  is  identical  with  Allan  in  E.  Ross  and 
the  Black  Isle  Allans.  There  are  at  least  three 
Scottish  rivers  called  Allan,  and  this  is  supposed 
to  be  the  modern  form  of  the  Alaunos  of  Ptolemy, 
who  also  mentions  Alauna  as  a  town  of  the 
Damnonii.  Two  roots  seem  possible  ;  ail,  a  rock, 
and  that  seen  in  Latin  pal-us,  a  marsh,  which  in 
Celtic  would  drop  initial  p.  Culcr aggie  and 
Balachraggan  (below),  which  adjoin  the  Church 
of  Alness,  favour  ail ;  one  of  the  other  Allans  is 
Allan  nan  clach.  But  another  is  Bog  Allan. 
Further,  Allan  in  E.  Ross,  while  far  from  stony, 
lies  low,  and  was  once,  doubtless,  marshy,  while 
close  by  Alness  Church  is  a  burn  and  a  low  damp 
meadow.  Local  evidence  therefore  suggests  the 
meaning  of  Allan  to  be  '  the  bog,'  and  of  Alness, 

1  Seawards  of  this  park  is  a  marshy  place  called  An  Inbhir,  the  estuary, 
•where  the  burn  which  flows  by  Alne?s  Church  enters  the  Cromarty  Firth.  1 1 
is  quite  possible  that  this  burn  was  once  an  "  Allan  Water." 


'  place  of  the  Allan,  or  wet  place.'  Of.  the  Welsh 
and  Cornish  rivers  Alun. 

Ardroy — *  Aird,'  promontory  ;  '  ruadh/  red  ;  a  point 
west  of  Alness  point.  The  '  stell,'  or  fishing 
station  of  Ardroy  is  mentioned  in  1479  ;  also 
"  the  Flukaris  croft." 

Teaninich  —  G.  Tigh  'n  aonaich,  Moor-house,  or 
Market-house.  The  name  appears  in  the  Retours, 
but  not  in  the  Ex.  R.,  where  the  modern 
Teaninich  appears  as  "  the  two  Culmelathquhyis  " 
(th  =  ch),  1479  and  passim;  Culmelloquhy  1526, 
Culmalochie  1586,  Ovir-culmalochie  1526.  The 
two  Culmalochies  were  thus  Over-  and  Nether- 

Goulhill — G.  Cnoc  na  cuil ;  the  higher  part  of  the 
village,  in  rear  of  the  main  street.  Balnacoule 

Clllcraggie — Culcragy  1479  ;  G.  Cuil-chreagaidh, 
Rocky-nook,  creagaidh  being  the  old  locative  of 
creagach.  The  banks  of  the  burn  which  adjoins 
the  farm  are  steep,  but  not  rocky.  The  reference 
is  rather  to  large  boulders  with  which  part  of  the 
farm  near  the  present  house  was  once  strewn. 

Ballachraggan — Town  of  the  little  rock. 
Balnacraig — G.  Bail'  na  creige.    Rocktown,  so  called 

from  the  precipitous  banks  of  the  Alness  River 

close  by. 
Contullich  —  G.     Gunntulaich  ;     '  con,'    together  ; 

1  tulach,'  hillock  ;  *  congeries  of  hillocks,'  accurately 

descriptive.     Cf.  Conachreig,  Coneas,  Contin,  etc. 

A  park  at  the  east  side  of  the  Boath  road,  near 

ALNESS.  77 

the  Contullich  farm-servants'  cottages,  is  called 
An  Triubhais,  the  Trews,  probably  because  of  a 
resemblance  to  that  article  of  dress  at  a  time 
when  the  field  was  only  partly  reclaimed. 

Clashnabulae — Cleft  of  the  yellow  flowers. 

TallySOW  (always  with  the  article  both  in  English 
and  Gaelic,  which  latter  is  sounded  as  the  Eng.), 
referred  to  in  the  New  Stat.  Ace.  as  Novar  Inn. 
The  name  appears  in  Jamieson's  Scottish  Diet,  as 
Tilliesoul,  "  a  place  at  some  distance  from  a  gentle- 
man's mansion-house,  where  the  servants  and 
horses  of  his  guests  are  sent  when  he  does  not 
choose  to  entertain  the  former  at  his  own 
expense."  He  gives  also  the  form  '  tilliesow.' 
Derived  by  Jamieson  from  French  '  tous  les  souls,' 
the  place  where  all  the  drunkards  congregate,  or 
'  tillet  les  soulds,'  soldiers'  billet,  a  place  where 
soldiers  are  quartered  out  with  money  to  pay  for 
lodging ;  or,  G.  '  tulach  an  t-sabhail,'  barn- 
hillock.  The  last  is  out  of  the  question.  The 
Tally  sow  is  by  the  roadside,  near  Novar  House, 
and  there  is  another  Tallysow  near  Maryburgh. 

llovar — Tenuer,  Blaeu.  G.  Tigh  'n  fhuamhair, 
Giant's  house. 

Fyrish  (farm  and  hill) — G.  Foireis  ;  Fyrehisch  1479, 
Feris  1539;  the  spelling  varies  almost  with 
each  appearance,  and  sometimes  becomes  even 
Fischerie  ;  probably  from  Norse  '  fura '  or  'fyri,' 
pine-tree.  Fyrish  is  and  was  noted  for  its  wood. 
To  the  back  of  Fyrish  hill,  towards  Ardoch,  is 
Poll  a  Mhucainn,  Poll  of  the  place  of  swine. 


Here,  according  to  local  tradition,  was  concluded 
the  Communion  service  held  at  Obsdale  in  1675, 
which  was  broken  up  on  the  approach  of  a  party 
of  soldiers  sent  to  apprehend  the  minister. 

Ballavoulin — Bail'  a'  mhuilinri,  Mill-town. 

Assynt — G.  Asaint ;  Norse  '  ass,'  rocky  ridge  ; 
6  endi,'  end.  Of.  Assynt  in  Sutherland. 

Allltgrande — G.  an  t-allt-grannda,  the  '  ugly  burn  ' 
which  flows  through  the  famous  Black  Rock. 


Cladh  Churadain  (see  Church  names). 
Druim  nan  Damh — Stag  ridge. 

Redburn — G.  an  t-allt  dearg. 

IJig — G.  an  uig,  '  vik,'  bay,  but  it  is  well  inland,  and 
so  is  an  extension  of  the  primary  meaning. 

Sockach — G.  an  t-socaich,  a  locative  from  '  soc.' 
snout,  fore  part  of  anything,  with  the  suffix  -ach. 
Common  as  a  name  for  places  that  project. 

An  Lainn — LOG.  of  lann,  enclosure  ;  very  rare  in 
Scottish  names,  but  cf.  Lhanbryde  ;  an  Garbhlainn 
(Anglicised  Caroline)  on  the  farm  of  Tullich, 
Strathnairn.  Part  of  Lainn  is  am  blar  borraich ; 
borrach  is  a  species  of  rough  grass.  Near  Glen- 
glass  School. 

Lorgbuie — G.  an  lorg  bhuidhe,  the  yellow  track. 

AchnagOU'— '  Gobhal,'  fork  ;  '  field  of  the  fork.' 

Balnurd — Town  of  the  height. 

Eilean  na  Cabhaig — (In  Yal.  Roll  Ellancavie), 
Island  of  the  hurry.  With  it  goes  Bruach  dian, 
steep  bank. 

Locll  a*  Chapuill — '  Capull/  horse  ;  Horse  Loch. 

Meall  an  Tuirc— *  Tore,'  boar  ;  Boar's  Hill. 

ALNESS.  79 

Bendeallt  (Bennjullt),  on  O.S.M.  Beinne  na 
diollaide ;  an  un-Gaelic-looking  name  ;  possibly 

CROC  L6ith  Bhaid  or,  Cnoc  an  liath  bhaid,  hill  of 
the  grey  clump.  (O.S.M.  Cnoc  Liath  Fad). 

Cnoc  Coille  Bhrianain— (O.S.M.  Cnoc  a'  Ghille 
Bhronaich),  now  often  simply  '  Brianan  ;'  Hill  of 
Brendan's  wood  ;  but  '  coille  '  is  almost  certainly 
a  recent  corruption  of  '  gille,'  servant,  follower. 

Loch  a*  Mhagraidh — From  mag,  pawing,  paw  ; 
also  toai,  Loch  of  the  place  of  toads  (possibly  of 
pawing)  ;  cf.  Mucarach,  from  muc,  pig. 

Sgor  a*  Chaoruinn — Rowan-tree  rock. 

Meall  nam  bo—  Cow-hill. 

Kildermorie  (see  Church  names).  Above  the  old 
chapel  is  Creag  na  Cille,  Church-rock,  below 
which  is  Glaic  nan  Clerach,  where  the  parson  of 
Kilmuir  was  killed  by  the  parson  of  Kildermorie 
(or  vice  versa)  ;  near  the  chapel  is  Tobar  Mhoire, 
Mary's  Well.  A  market,  Feill  Mhoire,  was  once 
held  here.  The  waters  of  Loch  Moir,  G.  Loch 
Mhoire,  are  locally  reputed  to  have  an  under- 
ground outlet  to  Loch  Glass,  a  tradition  noted  by 
Macfarlane  (c.  1750),  who  says  that  its  waters 
sanctify  those  of  L.  Glass.  Between  Kilder- 
morie and  Teaninich,  on  the  north  side  of  Loch 
Moir,  is  Allt  na  Fuirrid,  Ir.  furbaide,  a  cutting 

Leathad  Riabhach  —The  '  brindled  hill-side,'  north 
of  Loch  Moir — a  precipitous  rocky  face. 

Am  Mam — '  Mam,'  large  round  hill ;  M.Ir.  '  rnamm,' 
breast.  Cf.  '  Cioch '  as  a  hill  name 


Kinloch — Loch-end  ;  at  the  end  of  Loch  Moir. 

Boath — Bothmore  1583  ;  G.  na  Bothachan,  the 
places  of  booths  or  huts.  The  name  applies  to 
the  spacious  strath,  or  rather  half-strath,  from 
Cnoc  a'  Bhoth,  Hill  of  the  booth,  which  runs 
north  and  south  at  its  western  end,  to  Cnoc 
'Chroisg,  Hill  of  the  crossing.  In  Cnoc  a'  Bhoth 
is  Creag  d  Bhoth,  Rock  of  the  Booth,  and  under 
it,  Both-Wiig,  with  a  field,  am  Blaran  Odhar,  the 
dun  field,  at  the  top  of  which  is  a  sloping  piece  of 
grass  called  am  Bard,  the  meadow,  a  name 
common  in  the  district ;  not  yet  obsolete  in 
Badenoch  speech.  Both-mlibr  is  next  to  Glaick. 
The  great  cairns  of  Boath  are  noted  below. 
There  are  hut  circles  and  numerous  tumuli  011 
Cnoc  Alasdair,  and  on  the  highest  of  the  hillocks 
to  the  east  of  Strone  are  the  ruins  of  a  hill-fort  or 
broch  with  many  tumuli  on  its  south-east  side, 
and  a  hut  circle  to  the  west. 

Poll  na  Cllilc — Reedy  pool,  in  the  river  east  of 

StFOne — Nose  ;  Cnoc  na  Srbin,  the  hill  running  to 
a  point  which  separates  Boath  from  Strathrusdale. 
West  of  the  Strone  peat  road  is  Druim  na 
Ceardaich,  Smithy  Ridge,  with  a  curious  circular 
ruin,  said  to  have  been  a  smithy.  East  of  it  An 
Ruigh  Dreighean,  Thorn-slope,  with  a  small  cairn. 

Glaick — G.  a'  ghlaic,  the  hollow  ;  part  of  the  farm 
so  called  is  the  highest  cultivated  land  in  Boath. 
Near  it  is  an  t-Uchdan,  the  terrace,  breast-let. 

DuchaH — Probably  based  on  dubh,  black  ;  the  little 
black  place. 

ALNESS.  8 1 

.Ballone — Bail'  an  loin,  town  of  the  loan,  or  wet 
meadow.  Above  the  farm-house  is  Am  Bard,  the 

Allt  na'  Cnuimheag — Burn  of  worms  ;  explained 
locally  by  reference  to  a  skirmish  with  cattle- 
lifters  which  took  place  near  it,  after  which  the 
dead  were  left  unburied. 

MilltOWn — G.  Baile-mhuilinn. 

Cnoclea — G.  An  Cnoc-liath,  grey  hill,  from  the  grey 
appearance  given  by  the  two  great  cairns  on  the 
moor.  One  of  these  has  an  oval  megalithic 
chamber,  once  vaulted,  and  still  over  eight  feet 
deep.  The  other  is  much  destroyed. 

Acharn — '  Ach,'  field  ;  '  earn,'  cairn.  It  is  adjacent 
to  the  cairns  ;  '  field  of  the  cairns.' 

Clais  na'  mial — A  small  winding  glen  opposite  the 
road  leading  to  Acharn ;  '  saltus  pediculorum,' 
locally  explained  (l)  from  its  convenient  privacy, 
(2)  from  the  poverty  of  its  grass  and  consequent 
effect  on  cattle.  But  '  mial '  is  used  here  in  its 
old  general  sense  of  '  animal '  ;  '  beasts'  hollow.' 

Balnagrotchen — Bail'  nan  croitean,  croft-township  ; 
the  hill  to  the  south  west  is  Cnoc  na  Leacachan, 
Flag-stone  hill  ;  corruptly,  Cnoc  ar  Leacachan. 
(O.S.M.  Cnoc  Hath  na  h-Acain). 

Balmainach — G.  Bail'  meadhonach,  Middle-town  ; 
between  Acharn  and  Loariroidge. 

Loanroidge — G.  An  L5rt-roid,  wet  meadow  of  bog- 
myrtle,  which  is  very  plentiful  here.  East  of  the 
farm-house  is  a  pretty  meadow  by  the  river-side, 
called  Bard  nan  Laogh,  calves'  meadow.  Further 



along  is  The  Assarow,  G.  an  asaradh,  a  stretch  of 
pasture  sloping  up  from  the  river,  based  on  fasair 
or  asair,  pasturage.  It  has  no  connection  with  Ir. 
Assaroe.  Below  the  Assarow  is  Am  Poll  Ruadh, 
the  red  pool,  the  deepest  in  the  Boath  part  of  the 

Pollag  Aitionn — Juniper  pool ;  in  the  river  below 
Loanroidge  Farm.  Known  also  as  Poll  nam 
morbh,  Pool  of  the  fish  spears.  It  is  a  good  pool 
for  salmon  and  sea-trout.  East  of  it  is 

Poll  na*  Clar — As  this  is  a  good  place  for  crossing 
by  leaping  from  stone  to  stone,  the  meaning  may 
well  be  that  seen  in  many  similar  Irish  names, 
Pool  of  the  Boards,  i.e.,  planks  to  facilitate 

CHOC  'Ohroisg — '  Crasg,'  a  crossing  ;  the  hill  over 
which  the  road  crosses  into  Boath.  The  old  road 
crossed  rather  to  the  west  of  the  present  road. 

Lealty— Lealdy  1622  ;  G.  Lethalltaidh  ;  '  leth-allt,' 
half- burn,  i.e.,  the  sloping  land  on  one  side  of  the 
burn,  common  as  Leault,  but  here  it  shews  the 
-ie  termination.  A  '  Leault '  is  usually  a  '  one- 
sided '  burn,  and  is  so  here.  East  of  Lealty 
and  north  of  Ardoch  is  a  wooded  hill,  Cnoc 
Churadair,  a  name  which  looks  like  "  hill  of 
the  sower,"  but  it  really  stands  for  Cnoc 
Churadain,  St  Curitan's  hill. 

AtL  Corran — Dimin.  of  '  coire,'  corry. 

Ardoch — G.  An  ardach,  the  high  place.  Below  it, 
north  of  the  present  road,  is  An  Cablisair  flinch, 
the  wet  causeway,  part  of  the  old  road. 

ALNESS.  83 

BaddailS — G.  Na  Badanan,  the  little  copses.  A 
little  south  of  the  farm-house  and  east  of  the  road 
is  Am  Bard,  a  nice  flat  field. 

Clais  druim  bhathaich — Cleft  of  the  byre-ridge. 
Auchvaich  and  Ardache  appear  in  1608  as  pen- 
dicles  of  Contullich. 

Multovy  --  Multovvy  1490  ;  G.  Multabhaidh,  an 
extension  of*  mult,'  wedder  ;  place  of  wedders.  Cf! 
Muckovie,  place  of  swine.  The  termination  repre- 
sents an  early  -ab-,  -ob-,  -ub-.  Cf.  Cen-abum, 
Or-obis,  Es-ubii. 

Cnoc  Duchary — Probably  '  dubh-chathraidh,'  the 
black-moss-place.  A  great  cairn  containing  cists 
stood  on  its  easter  slope. 

Cnoc  Ceislein  —  Hill  at  back  of  Fyrish  ;  a  derivative 
of  Ir.  '  ceis,'  sow.  It  is  a  broad-backed  hill,  and 
faces  Meall  an  Tuirc  (Boar's  Hill)  on  the  west. 
Cf.  the  Boar  of  Badenoch  and  the  Sow  of  Atholl. 
East  of  it  is  Poll  a'  Mhiicainn,  noted  above. 

Averon — The  local  name  of  the  Alness  Biver.  The 
local  derivation  is  worth  recording.  Once  on  a 
time  there  lived  at  Kinloch  a  widow  with  two 
sons.  One  died  suddenly,  and  not  long  there- 
after the  second  was  drowned  in  crossing  the  ford 
above  Poll  na  Cuilc.  When  the  sad  news  was 
brought  to  the  mother,  she  exclaimed,  "  M'  ath 
bhron  ! "  (My  second  sorrow  !),  whence  the  river 
is  called  Averon  to  this  day.  A  similar  derivation 
is  locally  given  for  Carn-averon  in  Aberdeenshire. 
The  name  is  best  regarded  as  an  extension  of 
O.  Ir.  ab,  river,  with  diminutive  termination — 


Abh-ar-an.  Strictly  it  is  said  to  apply  only  to 
the  part  from  L.  Moir  to  the  junction  at  Strath- 
rusdale.  An  equation  with  the  Gaulish  Avara, 
though  tempting,  would  be  rash.  Cf.  Strathrory, 

Ceann-uachdarach  :  "  lands  of  Candwachterach 
with  its  brewhouse  (cum  brasina),"  1642 — upper- 
head  ;  beyond  Kildermorie,  but  of  old  evidently  a 
less  lonely  place  than  it  is  now.  It  was  near  the 
drove  road  from  the  north  to  Dingwall. 

Cam  Sonraichte — Cairnehondrig  1619;  *  notable 
cairn,'  north  of  Kildermorie. 

Loch  Bad-a-bhathaich — Loch  of  the  byre-clump. 
About  a  mile  to  the  east  of  it  is  Clach  airigh  a' 
Mhinistir,  Stone  of  the  Minister's  shieling. 

Creachainn  nan  Sgadan — Bare  hill-top  of  the 
herring.  There  is  a  local  tradition  of  a  shower  of 
herring,  which  may  be  founded  on  fact  :  for  inland 
places  in  Ireland  similarly  named,  see  Joyce 
II,  312. 

Bad-Sgalaidh — (Also  Bothan  Bad-sgalaidh),  about 
five  miles  beyond  Kildermorie,  and  noted  for 
ghosts  ;  Ir.  seal,  spectre  ;  "  Spectre-clump."  In 
this  direction,  near  the  river,  is  Braonan,  the 
little  wet  place ;  v.  Fairburn. 



Kilteam— Kiltierny  1227,  Keltyern  1296  ;  G.  Cill- 
tighearn.  Usually  explained  as  '  Lord's  Kirk, 
either  in  the  sense  of  '  Church  dedicated  to  the 
Lord,'  or  from  some  early  chief  of  the  Munros 
having  been  buried  there.  As  for  the  first  of  these 
explanations,  there  seems  to  be  no  parallel  for 
such  a  dedication,  though  we  find  indeed  Gill 
Chriosd.  As  to  the  second,  the  burying-place  of 
the  family  of  Fowlis,  from  the  earliest  times  of 
which  we  have  any  record,  was  in  the  Chanonry 
of  Ross,  and  it  is  in  any  case  extremely  improb- 
able that  the  church  should  receive  its  designation 
from  the  burial  of  a  chief.  A  third  theory  is  a 
dedication  to  St  Ternan,  who  is  supposed  to  have 
been  a  contemporary  and  pupil  of  Palladius. 
This  also  is  unsatisfactory,  for  though  Ternan's 
name  is  preserved  in  Banchory-Ternan,  dedica- 
tions to  him  are  extremely  rare,  and,  moreover,  it 
is  difficult  to  see  how  Ternan  would  suit  the 
phonetics,  for  the  last  syllable,  '  -an,'  could  hardly 
have  been  dropped.  The  most  feasible  explan- 
ation is  a  dedication  to  Tighernach.  Cf.  Kiltierny 
in  Ireland  with  Kiltierny  1227. 

The  parish  includes  in  its  western  part  the  old 
parish  of  Lumlair  ;  Lemnelar  1227,  Lymnolar  and 


Lumlar  1548  ;  G.  Luim  na  lar  ;  luim,  locative  of 
lorn,  a  bare  surface  ;  lar  is  most  probably  genitive 
plural  of  lair,  mare  ;  lar,  the  ground,  not  being 
suitable  in  respect  of  meaning  and  gender. 
Names  from  the  various  words  for  '  horse  ' — each, 
capull,  marc — are  very  common,  arising  from  the 
old  practice  of  keeping  the  horses  on  a  pasture  by 
themselves  ;  cf.  Glenmark,  Glenmarkie,  Ardin- 
caple,  Kincaple,  Caplich,  Dalneich.  The  church 
of  Lumlair,  according  to  the  Old  Statistical 
Account  dedicated  to  the  Virgin  Mary,  and  in 
modern  times  known  as  St  Mary's  Chapel,  stood 
at  Lumlair  near  the  sea-shore.  The  site  referred 
to  is  close  by  the  roadside,  about  two  and  a-half 
miles  east  of  Dingwall.  The  foundations  of  the 
chapel  are  still  visible,  with  an  ancient  and  now 
disused  burying-ground,  called  Cladh  ma-Bhri 
(Kilmabryd,  Blaeu).  This  burying-ground  is 
doubtless  called  after  the  saint  to  whom  the 
chapel  was  dedicated,  and  who,  moreover,  from 
the  above  well-known  modern  Gaelic  form  of  the 
name,  could  not  have  been  Mary.  Blaeu's  Kil- 
mabryd suggests  Bridget,  but  her  name  in 
Gaelic  is  always  Brid,  never  Bri.  The  only 
name  that  satisfies  the  phonetics  is  Brig,  later 
Brigh.  There  were  at  least  two  Irish  female 
saints  so  called. 

Fowlis — G.  Folais  (narrow  o)  ;  cf.  Allt  Folais  in 
Gairloch  (Loch  Maree),  Foulis  in  Aberdeen  (G. 
Folais),  Fowlis  in  Perth,  Fowlis  in  Forfar.  The 
oldest  forms  of  all  are  similar  to  the  modern. 


The  phonetics  indicate  a  lost  '  g '  or  '  d '  before 
*!,'  which  suggests  fo-glais,  foghlais,  from  fo, 
under,  and  O.G.  glas,  water,  '  Sub-water/  or 
'  Streamlet '  ;  cf.  for  meaning  Welsh  c  goffrwd,' 
streamlet,  the  philological  G.  equivalent  of  which 
is  '  fo-sruth.'  (For  the  phonetic  process  involved, 
cf.  'foghnadh,'  sufficiency,  from  O.  Ir.  fognam). 
A  small  burn,  Allt  Folais,  runs  through  the  Glen 
of  Fowlis,  and  there  are  burns  near  all  the  other 
places  of  the  same  name. 

DruniHlond — G.  Druimein,  locative  of  drum,  ridge  ; 
cf.  Drymen,  in  Stirling. 

Balconie— Balkenny  1333  and  1341  ;x  G.  Bailcnidh, 
based  on  bailc,  strong  ;  Welsh  balch,  proud  ;  for 
the  extensions  of  the  root  cf.  Delny.  The  Gaelic 
form  is  decisive  against  baile,  a  town  or  stead,  and 
compels  me  regretfully  to  give  up  a  former 
identification  (by  myself)  of  Balkenny  of  1333 
with  Petkenny  of  128 1.2  The  traditional  explan- 
ation is  Baile  Comhiiuidh,  dwelling  place,  to  wit, 
of  the  Earls  of  Ross  ;  but  the  meaning  cannot  be 
other  than  '  the  strong  place.' 

Teanord — G.  Tigh  'n  uird,  Ord-house. 

Katewell— Catoll  1479  ;  Keatoll  1608  ;  G.  Ciadail; 
Norse  kvi,  fold  ;  dalr,  dale  ;  cf.  kvia-bolr,  milking 
place  ;  kvia-bekkr,  fold-beck. 

Swordale— Sweredull  1479  ;  G.  Suardal  ;  Norse 
svonSr,  sward  ;  dalr,  dale. 

1  Charters  granted  at  Balkenny  by  Hugh,  Earl  of  Ross,  and  by  William, 
Earl  of  Ross. 

2  In  1281  William,  Earl  of  Ross,  granted  a   quarter  of  laud,  which  was 
called  Petkenny,  to  the  Bishop  of  Moray.     Petkenny  cannot  be  located. 


Balachladich— Shore-to  wii. 

Ardllllie — G.  Aird-ilidh  ;  the  latter  part  may  repre- 
sent '  ileach,'  variegated,  in  which  sense  may  be 
compared  the  uses  of  breac,  riabhach,  ballach, 
blar ;  '  speckled  height.'  Dilinn,  as  in  leac 
dhilinn,  natural  rock,  will  not  suit,  as  the  i  of 
Aird-ilidh  is  short. 

Pelaig— Pellock  1583  ;  G.  Peallaig.  Eob  Dorm 
uses  '  peallag '  in  the  sense  of  '  rough  garment ' — 
dimin.  of '  peall,'  hairy  skin,  borrowed  from  Latin 
pellis,  hide.  But  the  meaning  is  not  satisfactory 
as  a  place-name,  and  the  word  may  be  non- 
Gaelic — as  is  indeed  suggested  by  the  initial  '  p.' 
'  Peallaidh '  is  a  Pictish  river-name,  seen  in  Obair- 
pheallaidh,  Aberfeldy.  Peallaidh  is  used  in  Lewis 
as  the  name  of  a  water-sprite.  (Of.  German  quell,, 
a  spring). 

Clachan  Biorach — '  Pointed'  or  '  standing  stones 
they  consist  of  two  equal  ovals  joined  to  each 
other,  and  are  described  minutely  by  the  late  Mr 
Roderick  Maclean  in  his  "  Notes  on  the  Parish  of 
Kiltearn"  (Gaelic  Society  Transactions  XV.) 
North  of  the  Clachan  Biorach  is  Cnoc  an 
Teampuill,  Temple  Hill.  There  are  also  Clachan 
Biorach  at  the  head  of  Clare. 

Fluchlady — Fliuch  leathad,  wet  hillside,  with  -aidh 

Bogandllrie — Bogginduiry  1696  ;  G.  Bog  an  dubh- 
raidh,  gloomy  bog. 

Culbin— Back  of  the  hill. 


Octobeg — G.  An  t-ochdamh  beag,  the  small  octave, 
i.e.,  eighth  part  of  a  davach  ;  cf.  Ochto,  Kin- 

Cnoc  Vabin — G.  Cnoc  Mhabairn,  a  name  showing 
the  good  Celtic  termination  -ernos,  but  other- 
wise obscure  ;  perhaps  a  personal  name. 

Fuaranbuy — Yellow-well. 

Strongarve— Rough  nose  or  point. 

Skiach   (water)  —  Scraiskeith    1479  ;    G.    Allt    na 

sgitheach ;    O.  Ir.   see,   G.    sgeach,   hawthorn ;    a 

common  element  in  names  ;  cf.  Altnaskiach,  near 

Culnaskiach  —  Culnaskeath    1546  ;    nook   of    the 

Skiach,  or,  of  the  hawthorn. 
Teachatt  (so,  1608)— G.  Tigh-chait,  Cat-house  ;  cf. 

Knockancuim — Cnocan,  dimin.  of  cnoc  ;  caorunn, 

Rhidorach  —  Ruigh,    slope  ;    dorach,    dark  ;    dark 

Clare — Clearmoir  1608  ;  G.  An  Clar  ;  but  also,  anns 

na  Clar  ;  clar,  board,  hence  a  flat  place.     But  cf. 

Poll  na'  Clar  in  Alness. 
Gortan — G.  Goirtean,  small  field  of  corn. 
Knoekantoul — Barn-hill. 
Druim— Ridge. 
Achleach— Achlich  1608;  Achleich  1633;  G.  Ach- 

leitheich,  locative  of  " ach-leitheach,"  half-field,  i.e.,. 

field  on  a  hill  side.     A  cold  sunless  place. 
Sgorr  a*  Chl6i' — Creel  peak ;  an  exceedingly  steep 
piece   of  land,    where,    according    to    tradition, 
manure,  etc.,  had  to  be  carried  in  creels. 


Gleann  and  Meall  na  Speireig— Glen  and  Hill  of 

the  Sparrow-hawk — ( speireag.' 

An  Socach — The  Snouted  Hill ;  a  spur  of  Wyvis. 

Cabar  Fuais — The  Antler  of  Wyvis. 

Allt  nan  Caorach — Altnagerrack  1608 ;  sheep- 
burn  ;  its  precipitous  sides  are  dangerous  for 

Loch  Glass  and  Glen  Glass — O.G.  glas,  water ;  cf. 
R  Glass  in  Strathglass;  Douglas  Water,  where 
Eng.  '  water  '  is  a  translation  of  '  glas  ;'  Glenfin- 
glas  (fionn-glas,  white-water).  Findglais  and 
Dubglas  appear  in  a  list  of  '  healing  waters  '  in 
Ireland  (O'Curry,  M.  and  C.  III.  97).  Dubglas 
(Blackwater)  is  somew^hat  disguised  in  Inver- 
uglas  (L.  Lomond).  The  river  flowing  through 
Glenglass  is  called  in  its  lower  reaches,  where  it 
passes  through  the  famous  chasm  of  the  Black 
Rock,  the  Allt-grannda,  Ugly  Burn.  The  old 
name,  at  least  of  the  upper  part,  must  have  been 
Glass.  The  river  flowing  into  Loch  Glass  is  now 
known  as  Abhairm  nan  eun,  Bird-river  (O.S.M.) 

Corrievachie — G.  Coire-bhacaidh,  an  old  locative 
of  Coire-bhacach,  bent  corry. 

Cuilishie — G.  Caolaisidh,  the  narrows.  "The 
narrow  passage  at  the  lower  end  of  Loch  Glass. 
Here  is  the  ford  of  the  old  drove  road  that  passed 
that  way." — Mr  H.  Maclean.  Cf.  Lienassie. 

Kinloch — At  the  eastern  end  of  Loch  Glass. 

Eileanach — Place  of  islands  ;  it  lies  low  by  the 
river  side,  and  is  liable  to  be  flooded. 


Allt  na  Cailce — Chalk  Burn  ;  on  its  right  bank  is 
considerable  deposit  of  lime,  which  is  constantly 
.  added  to  by  a  tiny  rivulet. 

Cnoc  a'  Mhargadaidh— Market  Hill.  There  is  a 
tradition  of  a  market,  which  is  probably  correct, 
in  view  of  the  nearness  of  the  old  drove  road  from 
Sutherland.  Certain  enclosures  near  the  foot  of 

.  the  hill  may  be  explained  as  connected  with  this 
market,  or  they  may  be  very  much  older.  There 
are  numerous  small  cairns  and  some  fine  hut 
circles.  There  are  traces  of  a  road  leading  to  the 
top,  and  on  the  top  is  black  earth  with  charcoal 
fragments.  At  least  one  flint  has  been  found  on 
the  top. 

Coneas — The  remarkable  double  waterfall  below 
Eileanach.  Con,  together  ;  eas,  waterfall  :  'com- 
bination of  falls'  ;  cf.  Conachreig,  Contullich, 
Contin,  Conval,  Conchra,  Conglas,  Conaglen. 

Clyne— Clon  1231,  Clonys,  1264,  Clyne  1350-1372; 
G.  an  Claon,  the  slope  ;  now  Mountgerald. 
'  Amadan  a'  Chlaoin  '  (the  Fool  of  Clyne)  was  a 
well-known  character  in  the  earlier  half  of  the 
19th  century. 

Kilchoan — Church  of  St.  Congan,  now  Mountrich. 

Loch  nan  Amhaichean — Loch  of  the  Necks  ;  Loch 
Gobhlach  (O.S.M.  Loch  nan  Gobhlag),  Forked 
Loch  ;  Loch  Coire  Feuchain  (?)  ;  Feur  Lochan, 
Grassy  Lochlet ;  Loch  Bealach  nan  Cuilean ; 
Loch  na'  Druidean  (O.S.M.  Lochan  Driogan), 
Loch  of  the  Starlings  ;  Loch  Mhiosaraidh  (O.S.M. 
Loch  Measach),  Loch  of  dairy  produce,  are  all  in 
the  uplands  of  the  parish. 


Allt  Dubhag — The  small  black  burn. 

Ath  a'  bhealaich  eidheannaich — Ford  of  the  ivy- 

Balnacrae — G.  baile  na  ere,  clay-town. 
Culcairn — G.  Cul-chairn,  behind  the  cairn  ;  the  cairn 
exists  no  longer. 

Dun-ruadh — Red  fort. 

Teandallan — Explained  by  Mr  Maclean  as  "  house 
of  swingle-trees  or  plough-yokes."  "A  carpenter 
lived  here,  who  made  a  trade  of  them."  Dalian 
also  means  a  winnowing-fan. 

Altnalait — G.   allt    na   lathaid,  burn  of  the   miry 
place  ;  near  Tulloch,  and  at  the  western  boundary 
of  Kiltearn.     Based  on  root  of  lathach,  mire,  with 
ending  seen  in  Bialid,  &c. 
Modern  names  are  : — 

Evanton — G.  Bail'  Eoghainn,  or  am  bail'  ur,  New- 
town,  as  opposed  to  the  old  village  of  Drummond 
on  the  west  side  of  the  river.  Evanton  dates 
from  about  1800. 

Fannyfleld — Part  of  Swordale  ;  formerly  am  Bog- 
riabhach,  brindled  bog. 

Mountgerald,  formerly  Clyne,  so  called,  says  Mr 
Maclean,  by  a  Mackenzie  who  owned  the  place 
about  the  middle  of  the  18th  century,  in  honour 
of  the  supposed  Fitzgerald  descent  of  the  Mac- 

Obsolete  are  : — Arbisak,  1608,  and  Badnagarne, 
a  pertinent  of  Keatoll. 



Dingwall — Dingwell  in  Ross  1227,  Dignewall  1263, 
Dingwal  1308,  Dingwall  1382.  Norse,  Thing- 
vollr,  Field  of  the  Thing,  the  Norse  general  court 
of  justice.  Dingwall  was  therefore  the  centre  of  the 
Norse  administration  in  Ross.  The  most  southerly 
Norse  place-name  in  this  direction  is  Eskadale 
(Beauly),  but  Norse  influence  doubtless  extended 
further.  A  mound,  supposed  to  have  been  the 
actual  meeting  place  of  the  Thing,  is  referred  to 
about  1503,  when  James,  Duke  of  Ross,  resigned 
the  earldom,  and  reserved  to  himself  for  life  the 
moot-hill  (montem)  of  Dingwall  beside  the  town, 
in  order  to  preserve  his  title  as  Duke.  Dingwall 
is  in  Gaelic  In'ir-pheofharan,  Inver-peffray,  and 
Inverferan  appears  in  a  Bull  of  Pope  Alexander 
IV.,  1256  (Theiner  Vet.  Mon.). 

Another  term  applied  in  a  more  or  less  familiar 
way  to  the  ancient  town  is  Bail'  a'  chail,  Kail- 
town,  but  of  the  antiquity  or  origin  of  this  term 
we  cannot  speak  with  confidence.  Under  date 
1526  appear  the  following  names  connected  with 
the  burgh  of  Dingwall  : — Blakcaris-land,  Gray 
Stane,  Mill  of  Brigend,  Acris  Scotte,  Schortaker, 
march  of  Fesallich  (dirty  bog  channel),  Thombane 
(white-hillock).  In  1655  we  have  the  Boig  of 


Dingwall  within  the  Burgh  thereof,  called  Boig- 
moir,  including  Boigmoir  or  Westerboig,  the  Mid- 
boig  and  the  Eister  Boig,  within  the  parish  of 

Tulloch  1507,  Tulch  1563;  G.  tulach,  hillock; 
common  also  in  locative  case  as  Tullich. 

Kildun— Thomas  Dingwell  of  Kildon  1506,  Kildun 
1527  ;  G.  Cill-duinn,  locative  of  Ceall-donn, 
brown  church.  Cf.  Kill  in,  from  Cill-fhmn,  white 
church  ;  Seipeil  Odhar,  dun  chapel  ;  An  Eaglais 
Bhreac,  the  spotted  church  (Falkirk). 

Humberston  -  -  Formerly  Upper  Kildun.  Major 
William  Mackenzie,  of  the  family  of  Seaforth, 
married  Mary  Humberston.1 

Pitglassie — Petglasse  1526  ;  G.  Bad  a'  ghlasaich, 
Lea- town  ;  the  change  from  'pit'  into  'bad'  is 
very  rare  ;  but  cf.  Pitenglassie,  G.  Bad  an  glais 

Kinnairdie — Kynnardy  1479  ;  G.  Cinn-ardaidh, 
head  of  the  high  ground  ;  "  the  four  Glakkis 
quhilkis  are  the  ferd  quarter  of  Kynnarde,"  1539  ; 
"  the  demesne  lands  commonly  called  Kynnairdie, 
and  the  lands  of  Glakkis,  a  fourth  part  of  the  said 
demesne  lands,"  1584. 

Drynie — Wester  Drynee  1479  ;  G.  Droighnidh  (no 
article)  ;  droigheann,  thorns,  with  -aidh  ending. 

Other  names  in  the  lower  part  of  the  parish 
explain  themselves  :  —  Bakerhill,  Blackwells, 
Knockbain,  Allanfield,  Croftandrum,  Baddamh- 
roy  (copse  of  the  red  stag  or  ox). 

1  V.  A.  Mackenzie's  "  History  of  the  Mackenzies,"  p.  331. 


In  the  uplands  are  Cnoc  a'  Bhreacaich  (O.S.M. 
Cnoc  a  Bhreacachaidh),  hi]l  of  the  spotted  place ; 
Leathad  a'  chruthaich  (O.S.M.  Leidchruich),  hill- 
side of  the  quaking  bog  ;  cf.  suil- chruthaich  ; 
Meall  a'  ghuail,  Coal  Hill,  noted  for  excellent 
peats  used  for  smithy  charcoal,  as  was  the  regular 
custom  before  coals  became  available.  Meall  na 
speireig  (hill  of  the  sparrow-hawk,  at  the  junction 
of  Dingwall,  Fodderty,  and  Kiltearn). 



Fodderty — Ecclesia  de  Fotherdino  1238,  Fotherdyn 
1275,  Fothirdy  1350,  Fothartye  1548,  Fedderdy 
1561  ;  G.  Fodhraitidh  (close  '  o  ').  The  spellings 
of  1350  and  1548  still  represent  the  common 
English  pronunciation.  Fodder  or  fother,  as  a 
prefix,  is  well  known  on  Pictish  ground.  Fod- 
derty itself  is  the  most  northerly  instance  ;  in 
Inverness -shire  is  Fodderletter  (Tomintoul) ;  in 
Aberdeenshire,  Fetterangus,  Fetternear,  and 
Fedderat  (Fedreth  1205,  Feddereth  1265)  ;  in 
Kincardine,  Fetteresso  (Fodresach,  Pict.  Chron.), 
and  Fordun,  which  in  St  Berchan's  Prophecy  is 
Fothardun  ;  also  Fettercairn  (Fotherkern,  Pict. 
Chron.) ;  and  in  Perthshire,  Forte viot,  the  Foth- 
uirtabaicht  of  the  Pictish  Chronicle.  As  a  suffix 
it  appears  in  the  Annals  of  Ulster,  under  date 
680  A.D.,  "  obsessio  Duin  Foithir,"  and  again,  694, 
"  obsessio  Duin  Foter" — siege  of  Dunottar.  The 
change  to  '  Fetter,'  seen  in  the  Aberdeen  and 
Kincardine  names,  is  curious,  but  mostly  late, 
and  perhaps  a  matter  of  umlaut  in  Scots  dialect. 

Fodder,  early  Foter  and  Fother  (in  modern 
Gaelic  ' for '  with  close  '  o '),  is  best  regarded 
as  a  comparative  of  '  fo,'  under,  and  may  be  com- 
pared with  '  uachdar,'  upper,  from  the  root  seen 


in  '  uasal,'  high.  The  strong  accent  on  Fodder, 
G.  For,  may  have  helped  to  obscure  the  second 
part  of  the  compound.  The  ending  -ty(n)  is  not 
uncommon  on  Pictish  ground,  and  is  always 
troublesome  ;  cf.  Cromarty,  Navity,  Auchter- 
muchty,  Buchanty.  It  is,  however,  probably  safe 
to  say  that  the  meaning  of  Fodderty  must  be 
something  like  '  Lower  place/  in  contrast  to 

The  modern  parish  of  Fodderty  includes  the 
ancient  parish  of  Kinnettes — Kenneythes  1256, 
Kennetis  1561,  Kynattas  1574;  Gael.  Cinn-it'ais, 
'  t7  soft.  The  name  is  now  applied  to  the  farm 
on  the  high  ground  to  the  west  of  the  Spa. 
'  Cinn '  is  the  locative  case  of  '  ceann/  head.  The 
ending,  '  ais,'  is  seen  in  Allt-ais  (Altas),  Fearn-ais 
(Farness),  Forres,  Durrais  (Dores),  Dallas,  Geddes, 
being  practically  a  local  suffix.  The  middle  part 
-it-  is  obscure,  but  may  possibly  be  referred  to 
Welsh  '  yd,'  corn  ;  0.  I.  ith  ;  giving  a  meaning 
'  place  of  corn  ; '  Kinnettes,  head  of  the  corn-land. 
Achterneed — Wethirnyde  1476,  Ouctirnede  1479  ; 
G.  Uachdar-niad,  the  high  ground  rising  up  from 
the  plain  of  Fodderty,  Uachdar  means  '  upland' ; 
niad  can  hardly  be  explained  from  any  Gaelic  or 
Irish  source,  but  it  would  very  well  represent 
Welsh  '  nant,'  valley  ;  cf.  Welsh  cant,  Gael,  ceud, 
W.  dant,  G.  deud.  Achterneed  would  thus 
mean,  '  The  land  above  the  valley/  Above 
Achterneed  is  a  cup-marked  stone  called  a'  chlach 
phollach,  the  stone  full  of  holes. 



Strathpeffer— G.  Srath-pheofhair,  'Strath  of  the 
Peffer.'  Peffer  occurs  as  a  burn  name  in  Inver- 
peffray  (Crieff),  and  there  are  two  Peffer  burns  in 
Athelstaneford  (Haddington),  also  a  Peffer  Mill 
at  Duddingston.  The  initial  '  p '  indicates  a  non- 
Gaelic  origin.  Dr  Skene,  misled  by  the  resem- 
blance of  Inchaffray  (Insula  Missarum,  Mass  Isle), 
has  referred  Inverpeffray  and  Strath-peffer  to  Ir. 
'  aifrend,'  a  mass,  which  is  quite  out  of  the 
question.  The  various  Peffer  streams  are  more 
likely  to  be  connected  with  the  root  seen  in 
Welsh  '  pefr,'  beautiful,  fair  ;  '  pefr  in,'  radiant ; 
'  pefru,'  to  radiate. 

Knockfarrel — G.  Cnoc-farralaidh  ;  '  far '  in  com- 
position denotes  'projecting'  or  'high';  e.g., 
'  far-bhonn,'  fore-sole  ;  Ir.  '  for-dorus/  porch  ; 
G.  'far-dorus,'  lintel;  'for-all,'  high  cliff.  In 
farralaidh,  a  of  '  farr '  is  indefinite  in  quality, 
indicating  that  it  has  been  affected  by  a  succeed- 
ing slender  vowel,  which  has  become  broadened 
in  its  turn.  This  gives  an  original  far-eileach,  in 
locative  far-eiligh,  '  high '  or  '  projecting  stone- 
house/  or  '  stone-place,'  with  reference  to  the 
important  vitrified  fort  which  crowns  the  hill. 
For  '  eileach '  in  this  sense,  cf.  na  h-Eileachan 
Naomha  or  Garvelloch  Isles,  Jura  ;  also  the  great 
Irish  Ailech.  Cf.  also  Farrlaraidh,  Rogart,  from 
far-laraigh,  old  locative  of  larach ;  '  projecting 

Castle  Leod — Contaneloid  1507,  Kandinloid  1534, 
Cultenloid  1547,  Cwltelloid  and  Cultaloid  1556, 


Cultalode  1575,  Cultelloud,  1609,  Culterloud 
1618.  From  these  old  forms  it  appears  that 
Castle  Leod  is  a  corruption,  facilitated  doubtless 
by  the  presence  of  the  '  castle,'  which  bears  date 
1616.  Contaneloid  and  Kandinloid  represent 
'  Ceann  an  leothaid,'  Head  of  the  sloping  hill- 
side ;  the  other  forms  point  to  '  Cul  da  leothad,' 
At  the  back  of  two  slopes,  to  wit,  the  slope  of 
Achterneed  and  that  immediately  to  the  west  of 
the  castle. 

Ardival — Ardovale  1479,  Le  Tympane  de  Ardovale 
1487,  Ardwaill  with  its  mill  called  Tympane 
Myln1  1586,  half  davach  of  Ardauell  1655;  G. 
Aird  a'  bhail',  Height  of  the  town  or  farm-stead. 

Kinnellatl — Kynellane  1479;  G.  Cinn-eilein,  Island- 
head,  from  the  small  artificial  island  in  Loch 
Kinnellan,  "  resting  upon  logs  of  oak,  on  which 
the  family  of  Seaforth  had  at  one  period  a  house 
of  strength" — New  Stat.  Ace. 

1  The  site  of  the  old  mill  is  still  well  known,  a  little  to  the  west  of  the 
present  railway  station,  and  just  behind  the  stables.  In  1681  it  is  mentioned 
as  "  Tympane  mill,  near  Clach  an  Tiompan,"  the  stone  in  the  grounds  of 
Nutwood  near  the  public  road,  inscribed  with  an  eagle  and  "  horse-shoe" 
ornament.  There  seems  now  to  be  a  tendency  to  the  absurd  corruption 
'  Muileann  tiunndain  '  and  '  Clach  an  tiunndain  ' — '  turning  mill '  and  '  stone 
of  the  turning,'  a  corruption  arising  from  '  tiompan  '  not  being  understood  in 
this  connection.  '  Tiompan '  has  two  quite  distinct  meanings — (1)  a  musical 
instrument  ;  (2)  a  rounded,  one-sided  knoll.  In  this  sense  it  is  common  in 
place-names,  and  may  be  compared  in  point  of  derivation  with  English  '  tump,' 
Greek  '  tumbos,'  Lat.  '  tumeo,'  Gael.  '  tulach,'  Welsh  '  twmp,'  a  mound.  In 
this  particular  case  the  '  tiompan  '  is  the  knoll  on  which  the  house  of  Nutwood 
stands,  and  which  is  exactly  all  that  an  orthodox  '  tiompan '  should  be.  I 
have  been  told  that  '  tiompan  '  is  used  in  a  third  sense — viz.,  a  narrow  gully, 
or  even  the  nozzle  of  a  bellows  ;  and  in  support  of  this  was  quoted  the 
proverb  :  "  Tha  a'  ghaoth  cho  fuar  's  ged  a  bhiodh  i  tighinn  a  tiompan  " — The 
wind  is  as  cold  as  if  it  were  blowing  out  of  a  bellows'  mouth. 

100        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CBOMARTY. 

Ulladale— Elodil  1476,  Ulladall  1479  ;  G.  Ulladal 
is  Norse,  and  probably  means  Ulli's  dale.  Cnoc 
Ulladail  is  the  hill  above  Castle  Leod.  Of.  Ulla- 
dale in  Logie  Easter,  Ullapool,  etc. 

Park— Park  1476,  le  Park  1479;  G.  a'  Phairc. 
The  battle  of  Park,  Blar  na  Pairce,  between  the 
Mackenzies  and  the  Macdonalds,  took  place  about 

Dochcarty — Dalcarty  and  Davachcarty  1541 ;  G. 
Do'ach-gartaidh  :  dabhach  of  the  corn-enclosure. 

Davochcarn — Dalfcarne  1479  ;  G.  Do'ach  a'  chairn, 
davach  of  the  cairn. 

Da VOChpollo — Dalfpoldach  1479,  Dauchauchpollo 
1526  ;  G.  Do'ach  a'  phollain,  Davach  of  the  pool. 

Davochmaluag — Dalfmalawage  1497,  Dalmalook 
1584  ;  G.  Do'ach  Mo-luaig,  St  Moluag's  davoch. 

These  three  were  included  in  the  farm  of  Brae, 
1777.  On  the  moor  to  the  west  of  the  Heights 
of  Dochcarty,  G.  Breigh  Doch-gartaidh,  are  five 
stone  slabs,  heavy,  broad,  and  pointed,  marking 
an  oval  of  about  ten  to  twelve  feet  axis.  They 
are  called  Na  Clachan  Gorach,  the  silly  stones, 
and  are  evidently  part  of  what  was  once  the 
central  chamber  of  a  large  round  cairn,  now 
almost  quite  removed.  They  may  be  compared 
with  the  chambered  cairn  near  Acharn,  Alness. 

Inchvannie — Inchevaynel,  Enchewany  1554,  Inch- 
vandie  1584;  G.  I's-mheannaidh.  probably  from 
meann,  a  kid.  These  inshes  were  places  frequented 
by  cattle. 


jBlarninich — G.  Blar  an  aonaich,  Plain  of  the  meet- 
ing, or,  of  the  moor.  It  is  near  the  church  of 

Inclirory — Chapel  of  the  Virgin  Mary  of  Inchrory 
1349,  Inchrory  1583,  Inchrorie  1609.  G.  I's 
Ruaraidh.  On  the  right  bank  of  the  Peffery, 
immediately  opposite  the  old  bury  ing-ground  of 
Fodderty.  Here  stood  the  chapel  of  Inchrory. 
To  the  north  of  the  bury  ing-ground  was  '  Croit 
an  Teampuil,'  Temple  Croft,  where  stone  coffins 
have  been  found  (O.S.A.).  "  Rory's  Mead." 

Dochnaclear — Dauachnacleir  with  the  mill  1533, 
Davachnacleir  1533  ;  G.  Do'ach  nan  cliar, 
davach  of  the  "cliar"  ;  cliar  here  has  probably 
its  old  meaning  of  clergy ;  in  modern  Gaelic  it 
means  poet  or  hero.  The  place  is  above  the  farm 
of  Fodderty. 

Keppoch — G.  a'  cheapaich,  the  tillage  plot.  Com- 

Bottacks — G.  na  botagan  (close  '  o ')  ;  botag  in 
place-names  means  a  sun-dried  crack,  or  narrow 

Creag  an  Fhithich — Raven's  Rock. 

Rogie — le  Rew  1476,  Rewgy  cum  le  Ess  (with  the 

waterfall)  1472,  Rewy  1527,  Rowe,  Rowy  1575, 

Row^    1614  ;    G.   Roagaidh,   name  of  burn  and 

district ;  ?  Norse  rok-a,  splashing,  foaming  river  ; 

cf.   Loch   Roag,    Lewis.     Doubtful ;    cf.    Errogie, 

Strathrannoch — Foreste  de  Rannach  1479,  Strath- 

rannoch  1542;  strath  of  bracken.     Cf.  Rannoch 

and  Loch  Rannoch  in  Perthshire. 

102        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

Allt  a*  choire  ranaich — Burn  of  the  bracken  corryr 

in  Strathrannoch. 
Lilb    a'    chlaiginn — Skull     bend  ;     '  claigeann  '     is 

common  in  place-names,  and  is  usually  applied  to 

a  bare  rounded  knoll.     When  applied  to  a  farm 

or  field,  it  is  said  to  mean  the  best  arable  land 

(New  Guide  to  Islay,  p.  42). 
Allt  COir  a*  Chundrain— I  have  failed  to  verify  this 


Meall  a'  ghrianain— Hill  of  the  sunny  knoll. 
Beinn  a'  Chaisteil— Casde    Hill;   cf.    Beinn    ar 

Chaisteil,  at  the  head  of  Glen  Rosa,  Arran. 

Carn  nan  aighean — Hinds'  cairn. 

An  leatbad  cartach — '  Carfcach '  may  come  from 
'  cairt,'  bark  of  a  tree,  but  in  this  particular  con- 
nection it  is,  I  think,  more  likely  to  come  from 
'  cairt,'  cleanse  or  scour ;  whence  '  cairteadh,' 
muck.  Thus  the  '  leathad  cartach '  would  mean 
the  '  scoury '  hillside,  i.e.,  liable  to  be  scoured  by 
water.  '  Cairt '  scour,  is  seen  also  in  Glen  Do- 
charty,  and  Glendochart ;  cf.  the  rivers  Cart. 

Allt  an  eilein  ghuirm — Burn  of  the  green  island  ; 
Meall  nan  sac,  hill  of  burdens  or  loads. 

Inchbae — G.  I's-beith,  Birch-haugh 

Allt  na  Bana-Mhorair— Lady's  burn. 

Gleann  Sgathaich — Doubtful  ;  '  sgathach '  means 
lopped  branches,  brushwood,  from  'sgath/  lop. 
The  c  a '  is  short,  otherwise  we  may  think  of  a 
derivative  from  '  sgath,'  fear — '  uncanny  place,' 

Ben  Wyvis — G.  Beinn  Uais  (but  prosthetic  '  f '  seen 
in  Cabar  Fuais) ;  High  Hill ;  '  uais/  from  the 


root  seen  in  '  uas-al,'  high,  noble ;  Gaulish 
ux-ellos  ;  Gaulish  cx'  becomes  '  s'  in  Gaelic,  but 
in  Welsh  it  becomes  '  ch.'  Thus  '  ux-ellos ' 
gives  in  Welsh  '  uch-el,'  high,  whence  Ochil, 
Oykel,  Achilty.  The  height  of  Wyvis  is  perhaps 
best  appreciated  from  the  higher  parts  of  Inver- 
ness and  neighbourhood. 

Bealach  Collaidh — An  ancient  drove  road  to  the 
west  of  Wyvis ;  hazel-gap  or  pass ;  an  extension 
of '  coll,'  the  old  form  of '  call/  hazel,  representing 
a  primitive  Coslacum.  The  forest  of  Colly,  in 
Kincardine,  appears  in  1375,  modern  Cowie ;  cf. 
Kilcoy,  and  Duncow  in  Dumfriesshire. 

104        PLACE-NAMES    OF   BOSS    AND    CROMARTY. 


TIrray — Owra  1476,  Urra  1479,  Kingis  Urray  c. 
1560  ;  G.  Urrath.  The  New  Stat.  Ace.  suggests 
ur-ath,  new  ford,  from  the  tendency  of  the  rapid 
Orrin,  near  which  the  church  and  churchyard  are 
situated,  to  shifb  its  fords.  This,  however,  does 
not  satisfy  the  phonetics  either  in  respect  of  the 
quantity  of  the  'u'  or  the  quality  of  the  'r.' 
The  first  syllable  is  rather  the  preposition  '  air,' 
O.  Ir.  ar,  air,  Gaulish  are-,  meaning  '  before,'  and 
cognate  with  the  English  'fore.'  In  Gael,  com- 
pounds it  appears  as  '  ur- '  in  '  ur-chair/  a  shot 
(i.e.,  something  cast  forward),  '  ur-sainn/  a  door- 
post (i.e.,  something  standing  forward),  'ear-ball' 
or  '  ur-ball,'  a  tail.  It  is  seen  in  such  Gaulish 
names  as  Are-brignus  ('  brig,'  hill)  and  Are-morica 
('  mor,'  sea).  The  second  part  may  possibly  be 
'  ath/  a  ford,  which  would  give  the  not  very  satis- 
factory sense  of  '  projecting  ford ' ;  more  probably 
it  is  '  rath/  a  circular  enclosure  or  fort,  '  fore-fort,' 
or,  '  fort  on  a  projecting  place.'  For  phonetics  cf. 
urradh,  person,  security,  =  air  +  rath  (Macbain). 

Brahan — Browen  1479,  Bron  1487,  Branmore  1526, 
Brain  1561  ;  G.  Brathainn,  as  if  loc.  of  brath,  a 
quern.  W.  brenan,  handmill) ;  "place  of  the 
quern "  is  the  local  tradition,  which  may  be 

URRAY.  105 

Tollie— G.  Tollaidh,  from  '  toll/  hole.  There  was  a 
chapel  and  also  a  burying-ground  at  Tollie. 
Of.  Tollie,  Ardross,  and  Tollie,  Gairloch. 

Jamestown — G.  Baile  Shiamais. 

Bealach  nan  Corr — Cranes'  pass. 

Moy— Half  davach  of  Moy  1370,  le  Moye  1479, 
Moymore  1542;  G.  a'  mhuaigh,  locative  case  of 
magh,  a  plain.  Moy  Bridge  is  Drocliaid  Mhuaigh, 
and  the  ferry  which  existed  before  the  bridge  was 
Port  Mhuaigh.  (Moy,  Inverness,  is  a'  Mhoigh). 

Ussie  (loch  and  district) — Usuy  1463,  Ouse  1476, 
Housy  1527,  Lytill  Usui  and  Mekill  Usui  1583  ; 
G.  usaidh ;  an  obscure  name,  Pictish  or  pre- 

Balnain — G.  Baile  'n  fhain,  from  '  fan,'  a  low-lying 
place  or  gentle  slope,  not  uncommon  in  place- 
names  ;  cf.  na  fana,  the  Fendom  (Tain)  ;  am  fain 
Braonach  (Aultbea),  Forsinain  (Sutherland). 

Fairburn1 — The  two  Ferburnys  1476,  Fairburneglis 
1527,  Eistir  Farbrawne  1538,  Kirkferbrune  1542, 
Farabren  1555,  Avon  Forbarin  (Orrin  River), 
Blaeu ;  G.  Farabraoin,  or  simply  Braoin ;  from 
'  far,'  over,  as  in  Cnoc  Farrail,  and  braon,  water, 
which  in  place-names  is  used  to  denote  a  wet 
spot,  e.g.  Brin,  Daviot,  G.  Braoin ;  cf.  Lochbroom. 

1  Local  tradition  connects  the  burning  of  the  women  of  the  Finn  by 
Garry  with  the  fort  on  Cnoc  Farrail,  and  it  is  curious  to  find  several  old 
Gaelic  poems  on  that  subject,  entitled  "  Losgadh  Brugh  Farbruin,"  the 
Burning  of  Fairburn  Fort.  A  fragment  of  one  is  printed  in  "  Reliquiaa 
Celtiquae,"  I.  226.  Another  version  with  same  title  is  printed  in  Campbell's 
"  Leabhar  na  Feinne,"  p.  176. 

106        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CEOMARTY. 

Arcan — Arcoyn  1479,  Arckyne  1561,  Arcan  1584  ; 
from  Old  Gael.  '  arc/  black  ;  Welsh  '  erch,'  dusky. 
In  a  West  Highland  Fingalian  tale,  one  of  the 
characters  is  Arc  dubh,  where  '  dubh '  is  a  trans- 
lation of  '  arc.'  Cf.  Loch  Arklet,  in  Stirling ; 
Loch  Arkaig,  in  Inverness-shire  ;  and  Arkendeith, 
in  Black  Isle. 

Clachandhu — Black  stones. 

Achtabannock — G.  Ach-da-bhannag,  field  of  two 

AultgOWrie — G.  Allt-gobhraidh,  Goat-burn.  The 
regular  Gaelic  form  would  of  course  be  Allt  nan 
gobhar ;  but  the  formation  seen  here  is  not 
uncommon  in  Easter  Ross ;  cf.  Invergowrie,  identi- 
fied by  Dr  Reeves  with  "  flumen  Gobriat  in 
Pictavia,"  Acta  SS.  Mart.  II.,  p.  449. 

Balloan — G.  Bail'  an  loin,  town  of  the  low  damp 

Teanafruich — Tigh  'n  fhraoich,  Heather-house. 

Achnasoull — Auchansowle  1479,  Auchnasoill  1538, 
Auchnasowle  1542 — Barnfield. 

Blackdyke — G.  An  Garadh  dubh,  of  which  the 
English  is  a  translation. 

Clachuil — G.   Clach-thuill,  Hollowed   stone.      The 
name  comes  from  a  stone  hollowed  out  as  if  for 
'  crocking '  barley — i  clach  an  eorna,'  the   barley 
stone — which   may  still   be   seen  at  the  Inn   of 
Clachuil.     Cf.  Clach-toll  in  Assynt. 

Cornhill — G.  Cnoc  an  airbh  ;  cf.  Cornhill  in  Strath- 
carron  (Ardgay),  formerly  Knockinarrow. 

Auchederson — G.  Achd-eadarsan  ;  it  lies  between 
the  Gowrie  burn  and  the  Orrin,  not  far  from  their 

URRAY.  107 

junction.  The  meaning  is  obviously  '  the  field 
between '  (eadar),  but  the  last  syllable  is  puzzling. 
Perhaps  with  the  extension  of  '  eadar '  shown 
in  Auchederson,  we  may  compare  '  tarsuinn,' 
from  '  tar/  across,  and  '  ur-sainn,'  from  '  air,' 
before,  in  both  of  which  the  ending  represents 
a  primitive  '  -stan,'  from  root  '  sta,'  to  stand. 

StrOiiachro — Point  of  the  fold  or  enclosure  ;  on  the 
opposite  side  of  the  Orrin  is 

Cnoc  an  oir — Gold  hill. 

Auchonachie — Ach  Dhonnachaidh,  Duncan's  field. 
In  the  birch  wood  south  east  of  it  is  Cnocan  nam 
Brat,  hillock  of  the  mort-cloths.  near  a  very  small 
bury  ing-ground,  now  disused  and  nameless. 

Cabaan — Cadha  ban,  white  steep  path. 

Rheindown — Ruigh  an  duin  :  Slope  or  stretch  of 
Dun  ;  adjacent  to  Dunmore. 

Teandalloch— G.  Tigh  an  dalach,  House  of  the 
dale  ;  cf.  Ballindalloch. 

Aultvaich — Byre-burn. 

Aradie  (in  Glenorrin) — G.  Aradaidh.  It  is  at  the 
junction  with  the  Orrin  of  a  stream  flowing  from 
a  loch  marked  on  the  O.S.M.  Loch  Annraidh,  but 
which  is  locally  called  Loch  Aradaidh,  The 
stream  is  also  Allt  Aradaidh.  Aradie  is  thus  a 
stream  name,  and  we  are  safe  in  comparing  it 
with  Inverarity  (Inuerarethin  1250),  in  Forfar, 
now  the  name  of  a  parish,  but  primarily  the 
junction  of  the  Arity  streamlet  with  a  small  burn. 
There  is  also  Arity  Den,  in  Fife.  The  various 
streams  Arity  are  piobably  to  be  connected  with 
the  Gaulish  river  Arar,  of  which  Csesar  says  that 

108        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

its  current  is  so  extremely  slow  that  the  eye  can 
hardly  distinguish  in  which  direction  it  flows. 
This  again  points  to  the  root  seen  in  the  Welsh 
'araf,'  slow,  still.  Another  Gaulish  stream, 
apparently  from  same  root,  is  the  Arabo,  and 
there  is  a  personal  name  Arabus.  The  ending  -ty 
is  not  uncommon  on  Pictish  ground. 

Dunmore — Great  fort;  there  is  a  hill  fort,  of  the 
usual  type. 

Tarradale — Taruedal  1240,  1278  ;  Constable  of 
Taruedale  1278  ;  Ouchterwaddale  and  Onachter- 
vadale  1275-94  ;  Taruedelle  1309,  Tarridil  1372, 
Tarredill  1479  ;  Norse  '  tarfr-dalr,'  bull-dale. 

Balvatie — Bail'  a'  mhadaidh,  Dog's  or  Wolfs  town. 

Hughstown — from  Hugh  Baillie,  son  of  a  former 
proprietor;  formerly  '  Cnocan  cruaidh.' 

Hilton — Hiltoun  1456,  Balnoknok  and  Hiltoun  of 
Tarradaill  1586  ;  G.  Baile-'chnuic. 

Gilchrist— Kylchristan  1569  :  '  Christ's  Kirk.' 

Balnagown — Ballingovnie  1476,  Balngoun.  1479  ; 
Smith's  town. 

Blair— Balliblare  1475,  Belblare  1479  ;  G.  Bail'  a' 
bhlair,  town  on  the  plain. 

Carnaclasser— Of,  Kinkell  Clairsair  1527  ;  G.  Cam 
a'  Chlarsair,  the  Harper's  cairn.1 

1  The  cairn  is  now  gone,  and  its  site  matter  of  some  uncertainty,  but  the 
oldest  tradition  available  to  me  places  it  in  the  garden  of  the  present  school- 
house  of  Tarradale.  The  clarsair,  according  to  the  story,  was  slain  by  Iain 
Dubh  Ghiuthais  to  prevent  disclosure  of  a  theft  of  mill-stones,  of  which  he 
was  unfortunate  enough  to  be  the  spectator.  But  as  this  gentleman's  father 
died  about  1619  (Hist,  of  the  Mackenzies),  and  we  hare  seen  the  term 
'  clarsair '  attached  to  Kinkell  in  1527,  it  follows  that,  whoever  killed  the 
clarsair,  if  indeed  he  was  killed,  Black  Fir  John  must  be  held  innocent. 
Perhaps  the  origin  of  the  name  is,  like  the  cairn,  gone  beyond  recovery. 

URRAY.  109 

Fiddlefield — Recent  and  English. 

Ardnagrask — Height  of  the  crossings.  '  Crasg  '  is 
usually  applied  to  a  crossing  place  in  the  hills  ; 
cf.  Cnoc  chroisg,  Boath,  Alness.  Here,  however, 
it  is  locally  explained  as  from  the  old  system, 
practised  in  Ardnagrask  up  to  comparatively 
recent  times,  of  cross  rigs.  On  this  system  the 
arable  land  of  the  township  was  held  in  common, 
and  allotments  of  rigs  made  at  fixed  periods  in 
such  a  way  that  no  two  adjacent  rigs  fell  to  the 
same  man.  the  idea  being  that  so  every  man  got 
his  fair  share  of  good  and  bad  land.  This  is  likely 
to  be  correct,  and  is  favoured  by  the  fact  that  in 
Ardnagrask  '  crasg'  is  genitive  plural,  not  singular 
as  is  usual  elsewhere. 

Broomhill — G.  Cnoc  a'  bhealaidh,  or  An  cnoc 

Caplich — G,  Caiplich  ;  from  '  capull,'  horse,  or 
mare — '  place  of  the  horses  '  ;  a  name  of  frequent 

Croftnallan — G.  Croit  an  ail  em,  croft  of  the  green 

Balavullich — Bail'  a'  mhullaich,  town  of  the  sum- 

Torris  Trean — A  pathetic  attempt  at  G.  torr  a' 
phris  draigheann,  hillock  of  the  thorn-bush. 

Clllach — The  back  place. 

Highfield — G.  Ciarnaig ;  a  word  of  doubtful  mean- 
ing, which  may  perhaps  be  compared  with 
Acbiarnaig  (Aviemore), 

110        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

Glaickerduack— G.  Glaic  an  dubhaig,  hollow  of 
the  simll  black  burn  ;  '  dubhag '  is  a  fairly 
common  burn  name. 

Cbapeltown— G.  Bail'  an  t-seipeil. 

Dreim — The  farm  of  Dreim  (ridge)  has  swallowed 
up  some  small  holdings  such  as  Culblair,  where 
some  friends  of  Ewen  Maclachlan's  once  lived, 
while  modestly  curtailing  its  own  ancient  name  to 
a  monosyllable.  A  reference  to  Blaeu's  and 
Font's  maps  shows  it  to  be  identical  with  Hil- 
culdrum  1476,  Kynculadrum  1479,  Kilquhill- 
adrum  1707.  With  the  old  forms  may  be 
compared  Kincaldrum,  in  Inverarity,  Forfar  ; 
Kingoldrum,  Forfar. 

Balvraid — Ballibrahede  1476,  Belbrade  1479,  Esche 
(waterfall)  of  Balbrait  1527,  Ballivraid  1648  ;  G. 
Bail'  a'  bhraghaid,  town  of  the  upper  part. 

Tormuick— Swine's  hill. 

Febait — G.  an  fheith  bhaite,  drowned,  or  wet  bog. 

Balno — Am  baile  nodha,  new-town. 

Ord— Le  Ord  1479  ;  G.  An  t-Ord  ;  Muir  of  Ord  is 
Am  Blar  Dubli.  Near  it  are  standing  stones  called 
'  na  clachan  seasaidh.' 

Milton— G.  Bail'  a'  mhuilinn. 

Teanacriech — G.  Tigh  na  criche,  march-house. 

Corriehallie — G.  Coire  shaillidh,  fat  corry  ;  noted 
for  its  grass  ;  cf.  Coire  feoil,  Contin.  In  Corrie- 
hallie Forest  is  Creag  a'  Bhainne,  Milking-rock. 

Droitham — Anglicised  form  of  Drochaid  riabhan,  or 
Drochaid  cheann  a'  riabhain,  connected  with 

UREAY.  Ill 

Canreayan — G.  Ceann  a'  riabhain  ;  '  riabhain  '  is  a 
derivative  from  root  of  'riabhach,'  meaning 
'  dappled,  speckled  place.' 

Lettoch — G.  an  Leithdach,  i.e.,  leith  dabhach,  half 
davach.  There  are  several  Lettochs.  Cf.  Haddo, 
in  Aberdeen,  from  Half-davach  ;  Lettoch,  Knock- 

Teanalick — G.  Tigh  an  t-sluic,  bog-house ;  also 
given  as  Tigh-an-luig,  house  of  the  '  lag '  or 

Claisdarran — G.  Clais  an  terrain,  hollow  of  the 

Tenafield— G.  Tigh  na  fidhle,  Fiddle-house. 

Dorrivorellie — G.  Doire  Mhurchaidh,  Murdoch's 

Sron  na  saobhaidh — Point  of  the  den. 

Cnoc-udais — A  hill  at  the  entrance  to  Glen  Orrin, 
with  a  large  cairn  on  top,  locally  asserted  to  mark 
the  grave  of  Judas  !  The  ending  -ais  (open  '  a  ') 
is  that  noted  above  in  Kinnettes,  and  means 
'  place  of.'  The  meaning  of  the  root  ud-  must  be 
conjectural ;  but  cf.  Welsh  '  ud,'  howl,  blast, 
which  suggests  '  place  of  blasts  ' — appropriate  in 
point  of  sense. 

Cuthaill  Bheag  and  Cuthaill  Mhor.  ?  N.  kiia- 
fjall,  cow-fell.  Hills  near  Cnoc-udais. 

Orrin  River — G.  Abhainn  Orthainn,  which  would 
point  to  a  primitive  Orotonna  or  perhaps  Orsonna. 
We  may  perhaps  compare  the  Orrin  with  such 
names  as  the  Fifeshire  Ore,  with  which  has  been 
connected  Ptolemy's  Orrea,  a  town  of  the  Verm- 
cones  ;  and  with  Or-obis,  a  river  of  Gallia 

112        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND   CROMARTY. 

Narbonensis  ;  there  was  also  a  Gaulish  highland 
tribe  called  the  Orobii.  The  root  syllable  in  all 
seems  to  be  'or/  which  may  or  may  not^be  the 
same  as  Latin  '  or-ior,'  start.  The  Orrin  is 
notorious  for  shifting  its  channel  during  the 
sudden  spates  to  which  it  is  liable.  The  junction 
of  the  Orrin  and  the  Conon  is  Poll  a'  choire. 
kettle-pool.  Cf.  Joyce  II. ,  432. 



Urquhart  --  Utherchain  1275,  Urquhard  1498, 
Wrchart  (Blaeu)  ;  G.  Urchadain,  from  the  pre- 
position '  air/  on,  in  front  of,  which  in  composition 
frequently  becomes  '  ur-';  and  '  cardden,'  a  wood, 
brake  ;  a  word  not  found  in  Gaelic  or  Irish,  but 
preserved  in  Welsh  as  above — Urquhart  thus 
meaning  '  wood-side.'  The  Pictish  name  Urquhart 
is  closely  paralleled  by  the  Gaelic  Kinkell  (wood- 
head),  which  appears  below  as  occurring  in  this 
parish.  '  Cardden '  is  a  frequent  element  in  names 
of  places  on  Pictish  ground,  especially  in  the  com- 
pounds Kincardine  passim  (wood-head),  and  in 
Urquhart ;  cf.  Glen-Urquhart,  Inverness,  Adam- 
nan's  Airchartdan  ;  Glen-Urquhart  in  the  parish 
of  Cromarty  (though  this  has  been  connected 
with  the  Urquharts  of  Cromarty),  and  the  parish 
of  Urquhart  in  Elgin.  We  have  also  Pluscarden 
in  Elgin,  and  Carden-den  in  Fife. 

The  modern  parish  of  Urquhart  includes  the 
old  parish  of  Logie  Wester  (united  about  1669)  ; 
Logy  1498,  Logy  Westir  1569,  Logwreid  1600. 
In  1238  it  seems  to  appear  as  Longibride 
(Theiner's  Yet.  Mon.)  and  again  in  Baiamund's 
Roll  we  have  Dunthard  and  Logynbrid,  1275. 
Logy,  G.  lagaidh,  is  from  '  lag,'  a  hollow,  with 


the  '  -aidh '  ending.  It  forms  the  south-west 
portion  of  the  united  parish,  and  the  name  still 
appears  in  Logieside,  half-a-mile  or  so  north-east 
of  Highfield  Home  Farm. 

In  1430  the  King  confirmed  to  Donald,  Thane 
of  Caldore  (Cawdor  in  Nairnshire),  the  lands  of 
Estirkynkelle    and    the    mill    of  Alcok    in    the 
county  of  Ross.      In  1476  the  King  united  and 
incorporated   into   the   one  complete  thanage  of 
Caldor  (unum  et  integrum  thanagium  de  Caldor), 
having  the  liberties  and  privileges  of  a  barony, 
certain  lands  in  Nairn  and  Forres,  as  also  the  two 
Kinkells,  Kindeis.  Invermarky,  Mulquhaich,  and 
Drumvoourny  in  the  county  of  Boss,  all  which  he 
granted  to  his  faithful  William,  Thane  of  Caldor. 
This   explains   the   origin   of    Ferintosh,    G.    An 
Toisigbeachd,  or  an  Tois'eachd,  '  The  Thaneship/ 
from    '  toiseach,'    the    ancient    Celtic    dignitary 
ranking    next    to    the    '  mormaer,'   who,    in    the 
language  of  feudalism,  was  translated  into  thane, 
while    the    mormaer   became    '  Comes,'    or   Earl. 
Ferintosh,    '  land    of   the    Toiseach,'    is    still    the 
popular  designation  of  the  parish  in  English,  as 
*  An  Toisigheachd '  is  in  Gaelic.      Of  the  places 
mentioned  in  the  grant  of  1476,  the  two  Kinkells, 
Mulcaich,  and  Dunvorny  are  in  Urquhart  ;  Inver- 
marky,  now  obsolete,  was  near  Rosemarky.     If 
there  was  a   Kindeis   in  the   Black  Isle,  I  have 
failed  to  identify  it,  the  only  Kindeis  known  to 
me  having  been  in  Nigg,  where  it  has  now  become 
obsolete,  and  whence  it  has  been  transferred  to 
Kindeace  in  Kilmuir  Easter. 


Kinkell  —  Kynkell  1479,  Kinkell  Clarsair  1527, 
Kinkell  Clarshac  1542,  Kinkell  Clairsheoch  1556  ; 
G.  ceann  na  coille,  wood-head.  The  similarity  in 
meaning  to  the  name  Urquhart  is  worth  noting. 
There  are  two  Kinkells  —  Easter  Kinkell  and 
Wester  or  Bishop's  Kinkell ;  and  Kinkell  Clarsair 
of  the  records  is  doubtless  the  wester  one,  which 
is  nearer  Muir  of  Ord,  or  Carn  a'  Chlarsair. 

Mulchaich — Mulcach  1456,  Mulquhaich  1476,  Mul- 
quhaisch  1507  ;  G.  Mul-caich;  from  '  mul,' rounded 
eminence  ;  the  '  -caich,'  or  '  cathaich/  is  doubtful. 

Alcaig— Mill  of  Alcok  1430  ;  "  the  Alcaikis  with 
their  pendicles,  viz.,  Crostnahauin,  and  Bogboy, 
with  the  mil)  of  Alcaik  and  the  yare  of  Alcaik 
called  Corrinagale,"  1611  ;  G.  Alcaig;  from  Norse 
Alka-vik,  auk's  bay. 

Bogboy  is  modern  Bogbuie,  yellow  bog,  two 
miles  from  Alcaig,  beyond  Easter  Kinkell. 

Crostnahauin,  Eiver-croft,  is  probably  repre- 
sented by  the  modern  Teanahaun,  a  farm  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Conon. 

Corrinagale,  from  its  description  as  a  '  yare,' 
appears  to  be  from  Ir.  '  cora,'  or  '  coradh,'  a  weir 
across  a  river ;  cf.  the  Irish  Kincora  and  Tikincor, 
and,  in  Scotland,  Achnacarry  ;  Norsemens'  Weir  ? 

Dunvomie — Drum  war  ny  1456,  Drumwerny  1458  ; 
Drumworny  1507;  G.  Dun-bhoirinidh ;  'drum' 
and  '  dun '  frequently  interchange,  in  some  cases 
at  least  because  there  was  both  a  drum  or  ridge, 
and  a  dun  or  fort,  and  this  is  the  case  with  Dun- 
vornie.  The  name  seems  to  be  from  Ir.  '  boireann,' 

116        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

a  rock,  or  a  stony,  rocky  district — '  Stony  Ridge,' 
which  would  suit  a  locality  where,  as  here,  the 

'  rock  frequently  appears  above  the  surface.  In 
Ireland  we  have  Rathborney,  Knockanemorney, 
and  many  other  names  of  the  same  origin. 

Findon — Fyndoun  1456,  Mekle  Findon  1574,  Little 
Findon  1587;  G.  Fionndun,  white  fort.  We 
have  in  1608  "  Baddrean  and  Teazet,  pertinents 
of  Mekle  Findon."  Baddrean,  now  Baclrain, 
thorny  copse  ;  Teazet  is  a  phonetic  spelling  of 
Tigh  'gheata,  Gatehouse ;  it  is  now  obsolete,  but 
Knockgate  is  still  part  of  Findon  farm.  Another 
pertinent  of  Findon,  1608,  is  Ballegyle,  now 
Balgoil,  Stranger's  town. 

The  Querrel,  near  the  shore,  appears  1503; 
obviously  G.  An  Coireall,  the  quarry. 

Culbokie— Culboky  1456  and  1542;  Eistir  and 
Westir  Culboky  1563;  G.  Cuil-bhaicidh.  The 
old  form,  retained  in  English,  goes  to  prove  that 
the  original  Gaelic  was  Cuil-bhbcaidh,  the  modern 
Gaelic  showing  the  common  change  of  '  o  '  to  '  a.' 
This  is  confirmed  by  comparison  with  the  less 
know  Cuil-bhocaidh  in  Strathcarron,  parish  of 
Kincardine.  The  second  part  of  the  compound 
appears  to  be  from  '  bocan,'  hobgoblin,  Scottish 
bogie,  the  meaning  being  *  the  haunted  nook.' 
The  name  would,  on  this  supposition,  have  been 
originally  applied  to  the  hollow  near  the  ancient 
ruin,  near  the  village,  which  is  noted  below,  and 
which  could  hardly  fail  to  have  had  uncanny 


Balgalkin  —  G.    Bail'    galcainn,    from    l  gale,'    tor 
thicken   cloth,    by   a    process   akin   to    fulling— 
'  Fuller-town.' 

Leanaig  —  G.  Lianaig,  diminutive  of  '  liana,'  a 
meadow,  swampy  plain.  This  is  a  case  of  a 
feminine  diminutive  being  formed  from  a  mascu- 
line noun. 

Cornton — G.  Bail'  an  loch,  Loch-town.  West  of 
it  is 

Cononbrae — G.  Bog  domhain,  deep  bog. 

Ryefleld — G.  Ach  an  t-seagaiL 

Drummonreach — Speckled  ridge. 

Teandore — House  of  the  grove  ;  it  was  once  a 
drinking  place,  but  the  name  has  no  sinister 

Balnabeen — G.  Bail'  na  binn  ;  locally  explained  as 
Town  of  judgment,  which  is  doubtless  correct, 
seeing  that  near  it  is 

Gallows  Hill — G.  Cnoc  a'  chrochaidh.     Also 

Crochair — G.  Crochar,  place  of  hanging ;  from 
'  croch/  gallows,  modern  '  croich.' 

Teanagairn,  House  of  the  cairn,  and  Glascairn, 
G.  Clais  'chairn,  are  so  called  from  the  remarkable 
ruin  in  the  wood  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile  south 
of  the  west  end  of  Culbokie.  In  Gaelic  it  is 
called  Caisteal  Cuil-bhaicidh,  and  also  Caisteal 
Bhaicidh.  It  is  circular,  with  two  concentric 
walls,  the  inner  of  stone,  and  is  surrounded  by  a 
ditch,  now  partly  filled  up.  Some  bones  were 
found  there  about  forty  years  ago,  in  the  course 

118        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

of  removing  stones  for  dykes,  since  when  it  has 

remained  untouched.     Close  by  it  is  a  small  loch. 

Duncanston — A  quite  modern  name — its  eponymus 

is  still  with  us — the  Gaelic  of  which  is  Boer   a' 


mhiodair.  Local  tradition  says  that  the  place 
was  so  named  from  the  loss  of  a  mitre  there  by 
the  Bishop  of  Ross  as  he  was  going  from  his 
residence  of  Castle  Craig  to  Chanonry.  But  it  is 
much  more  likely  to  come  from  '  miodar,'  pasture 
ground,  or,  possibly,  '  miodar,'  a  round  vessel  of 

Greenleonaehs— G.  Lianagan  a'  Chuil-bhaicidh,  wet 
meadows  of  Culbokie. 

Baluachrach— G.  Bail'  uachdarach,  Upper  town. 

Balmenach — G.  Bail'  meadhonach,  Mid-town. 

Baliachrach — G.  Bail'  iochdarach,  Lower  town. 

Balachladaich — Shore  town. 
Badenerb — Eoe-clump. 

Tore— G.  Torr,  rounded  hill. 

Crask    of  Findon — Crasg,    a   crossing    place.       It 

includes    Boggiewell,    G.     Bog   an    fhuail,    palus 

Balreillan — '  Reidhlean,'  a  green,  or  level  plain  ;  a 

derivative   of  '  reidh,'  level.      Some  graves  were 

found  in  the  neighbourhood. 
Loch  Sheriff— G.  Loch  an  t-Siorra. 
Bracklach — G.  Breaciach,  spotted  place  ;  cf.  '  garbh- 

lach,'  rough  place. 

Knoekandultaig  —  G.    Cnoc   an    dialtaig,    bat's 

Balloan — G.  Bail'  an  loin  ;  town  of  the  low,  damp 



Coulnagour — Goats'  nook. 

Balavil — G.  Bail'  a'  bhile,  town  on  the  brae-edge. 

Cocked-Hat  Wood — A  small  plantation,  so  named 

by  the  late  Sir  James  Mackenzie. 
Mossend — G.  Ceann  a'  mhonaidh. 
Sunny  Brae — A  euphemistic  rendering  of  G.  *  am 

braighead  mosach,'  nasty  upland. 
Cnoe  na  fanaig — G.    Cnoc  na'  feannag  ;   probably 

from    '  feannag,'    a    '  lazy -bed,'    but    of    course 

'  feannag/  a  hoodie-crow,  is  quite  possible. 
Cnoc  an  araid,  a  mile  or  more  west  of  Culbokie, 

most  likely  from  '  anart,'  linen,  which  in  E.  Ross 

becomes  '  arad.' 
Logieside,  at  the  west  end  of  the  parish,  preserves 

the  old  name  of  Logy. 
Dugaraidh,  on  Ord.   Sur.   map  Dungary,  near  the 

border   of  Urray — Dubh-garaidh,    black    den   or 

thicket ;  the  lengthening  of  '  dubh  '  is  owing  to 

the  stress  of  the  accent ;  cf.  Duloch  and  dulan, 

also,  Dougrie  in  Arran. 
Balvaird— Bail'  a  bhaird,  Bard's  town.     Or  it  may 

be  from  '  bard,'  a  meadow,  paddock ;  in  Badenoch 

e  still  used  in  the  sense  of  '  meadow  '  in  common 

Tigh    na    h-innse  —  Meadow-house — near   Alcaig 

Cnoc  'chois— Hill  of  the  recess. 

120         PLACE-NAMES    OF   BOSS    AND    CROMARTY. 


Resells — G.  Ruigh-sholuis,  slope  of  light,  or  bright 
slope.  In  1662  the  Commissioners  for  the 
plantation  of  Kirks  united  the  parishes  of 
Cullicudden  and  Kirkmichaell  into  one  parish 
church,  to  be  called  the  Parish  Church  of  Kirk- 
michael,  and  to  be  built  at  Reisolace.  As  the 
site  of  the  parish  church  has  not  been  shifted 
since,  it  is  clear  that  the  name  Resolis  originally 
applied  only  to  that  slope  on  which  the  church 
now  stands,  a  spot  with  a  bright  south-easterly 
exposure.  The  New  Stat.  Ace.,  written  by  Rev. 
Donald  Sage  in  1836,  records  that  .Resolis  rather 
than  Kirkmichael  was  then  the  name  in  popular 
usage.  It  has  now  practically  become  the  official 
designation  also. 

Cullicudden  included  the  western  portion  of 
the  united  parish.  In  addition  to  the  early 
mention  of  it  noted  below,  it  appears  as  Cultudyn 
in  1275  among  the  churches  taxed  by  the  Holy 
See  for  relief  of  the  Holy  Land.  The  church  was 
dedicated  to  St  Martin  of  Tours,  and  the  name 
of  the  parish  in  Gaelic  was  regularly  Sgire 
Mhartuinn.  Hence  such  names  as  Kilmartin 
(where  the  old  church  of  Cullicudden  stood,  with 
its  bury  ing-ground),  Ach  martin,  St  Martins.  In 

KESOLIS.  121 

1641  Charles  I.  granted  to  Inverness  the  fair  of 
10th  November,  "  quhilk  was  haldin  of  auld  at 
Sanct  Martenis  Kirk  in  Ardmannoche  now  lyand 

Kirkmichael  is  the  eastern  portion  of  the  united 
parish.  The  church  was  known  in  Gaelic  as  Gill 
Mhicheil,  and  the  parish  itself  as  Sgire  Mhicheil. 
The  site  of  the  church  was  at  the  east  end  of  the 
parish,  close  to  the  firth  ;  and  Hugh  Miller,  in  his 
"  Scenes  and  Legends,"  gives  a  wild  legend 
bearing  on  its  churchyard.  The  same  legend  is 
current  with  regard  to  the  churchyards  of  Dala- 
rossie  and  of  Petty,  in  Inverness-shire. 

Culbo  —  Eistir  Culbo  1557,  Eistir  and  Wastir 
Cuiboll  1560;  G.  Curabol ;  from  Norse  '  kiila,' 
a  ball  or  knob,  and  '  bol,'  a  farm-stead.  Kula  is 
applied  in  place-names  to  a  rounded  hill  ;  cf. 
de  Kool  o'  Fladabister  in  Shetland  (Jacobsen). 
Gaelic  '  r  '  is  due  to  dissimilation. 

Balblair— Belblair  1551,  Eistir  Belblair  1557  ;  G. 
Bail'  a  bhlair,  town  of  the  plain. 

Kinbeachy — Kynbarch  1561-66,  Kinbeachie  1565- 
71  ;  G.  Cinn  a'  bheathchaidh,  head  of  the  birch 
wood  (beitheach).  Cf.  Kinveachy,  Aviemore.  It 
is  to  be  taken  in  connection  with 

Birkis  1551  ;  G.  a  Bheithearnaich,  still  known  as 
'  The  Birks  '  ;  beith-ar-n-aich  ;  for  the  formation 
cf.  Muc-ar-n-aich,  from  '  muc,'  pig  ;  preas-ar-ii-achr 
from  '  preas,'  bush  ;  etc. 

Dmmcudden— Drumcudyn  1528  and  1546;  Drum- 
cudden  1458  ;  G.  Druimchudainn,  also 


Cullicudden — Culicuden  1227  ;  G.  Cuila'  chudainn, 
or,  as  a  variant,  according  to  the  New.  Stat.  Ace., 
'  Coull  a  Chuddegin.'  The  N.S.A.  makes  it  "  the 
Cuddie  Creek — that  species  of  fish  being  formerly, 
though  not  now,  caught  in  great  abundance  in  a 
small  creek  on  the  shore  of  Cullicudden,  and  a 
little  to  the  west  of  the  old  church."  G. 
'  cudainn,'  or  '  cudaig,'  a  cuddy. 

Braelangwell — Braelangwell  1577  ;  a  hybrid  ;  G. 
1  braigh,'  an  up-land,  and  Norse  '  langvollr,'  long- 
field.  There  is  Langwell  in  Strathcarron  ;  also 
Lang  well,  Oykell.. 

Balliskilly— Bowskaly  1551,  Ballaiskaillie  1580; 
G.  Baile  sgeulaidh,  story- town,  or  town  of  the 

Brae— Brey  1533  ;  town  of  Braire  c.  1560  ;  '  braigh,' 

Woodhead — The  Wodheid  c.  1560  ;  near  it  is  am 
Bard  Gobhlach,  the  forked  meadow. 

Castle  Craig — Craighouse  c.  1560;  G.  Tigh  na 

Tighninnich — Tawninich  (Blaeu),  east  of  Balblair ; 
G.  Tigh  'n  aonaich,  town  of  the  market ;  there 
was  a  market  at  Jemimaville  until  recent  times. 

BadgriDan — Copse  of  the  sunny  hillock. 

Chapelton— G.  Bail'  an  t-seipeil. 

Kirkton : 

Drumdyre  — G.  Druim(a)doighr  ;  doubtful ;  Daighre 
was  an  Irish  personal  name  ;  Maclruanaidh  ua 
Daighre  occurs  in  the  Four  Masters  ;  but  it  does 
not  seem  to  occur  in  Scotland. 

RESOLIS.  123 

Bruichglass — Green  brae. 

Poyntzfield  of  old  Ardoch,  the  high  place. 

BalUcherry — G.  Bail'  a'  cheathraimh,  town  of  the 

quarter  (davach). 
Gavin — Smooth  pass. 
Toberchurn — Well  of  the  cairn. 
Capernich — G.  Ceaparnaich,  or   'a'  Cheaparnaich,' 

an  extension  of  '  ceap,'  a  block,  whence  '  ceapach,' 

tillage  plot ;  cf.  for  formation  '  a'  Bheithearnaich ' 

Pleucherries — G.   Fliuchairidh,   the    wet   place  ;    a 

locative  of  '  fliuch-ar-adh/  from  '  fliuch,'  wet.     The 

'  's '  is  the  English  plural,  as  in  Geanies,  Pitnel- 

lies,  &c. 

Jamimaville  :  a  modern  name. 
Am  Bard  Loisgte — The   burnt  meadow,   near  St 


Burnslde — G.  Tigh  an  daimh,  ox-house. 
Camperdown— G.  form  not  found  ;  named  after  the 

battle  of  1797. 

Obsolete  are  : — 
Rostabrichty,  situated,  according  to  Blaeu's  map,  a 

little  to   the  north-west   of   Braelangwell  ;  later 

Eosabrighty,  1740. 

Auchnintyne  1580,  a  pendicle  of  '  Ballaskaillie.' 
Wester  Ballano  1580,  mentioned  in  connection  with 

the  same. 

Milltoim  (Blaeu),  on  the  '  burn  of  Milltoun,'  appar- 
ently now  Allt  Dubhach  (O.S,M.) 

124         PLACE-NAMES   OF   ROSS   AND   CROMARTY. 


Cromarty-— Crumbathyn  1263,  Crumbauchtyn  1264, 
Crumbhartyn  1296,  Crombathie  1349,  Cromady 
and  Crombathie  1349-1370,  Cromardy  1398, 
Cromatyand  Crumbaty  1479.1  G.  Cromba'.  From 
an  inspection  of  the  old  forms  two  things  are  clear 
— first,  that  the  modern  English  form,  Cromarty, 
is  the  descendant  and  representative  of  the  ancient 
Crumbauchtyii  (with  accent  on  first  syllable) ;  and, 
secondly,  that  the  second  '  r '  of  Cromarty  is  not 
radical,  but  was  developed  at  an  early  stage 
through  sympathy  with  the  V  of  the  first  syllable  ; 
cf.  Eng.  bride-groom,  from  A.S.  brid-guma,  literally 
'  bride-man.'  Further,  these  forms,  as  well  as 
other  considerations,  negative  the  derivation 
Crom-bagh,  bent  bay.  The  base  is  doubtless 
crom,  bent ;  the  question  is  whether  we  are  to 
regard  the  b  of  Cromba'  as  radical  or  as  developed. 
Developed  b  after  m  is  seen  in  lombar,  from  lorn  ; 
Ir.  crompan,  a  sea  inlet,  from  crom ;  and  in  the 
common  Crombie  applied  to  bent  streams  and  to 
places  at  a  bend,  e.g.,  Crombie  in  Fife  ;  also  Dal- 
crombie,  G.  Dul-chrombaidh,  a  place  on  a  bend  of 

1Hugh  Miller  (Scenes  and  Legends,"  p.  49),  mentions  an  ancient  custom 
seal  or  cocket,  supposed  to  belong  to  the  reign  of  Robert  II.,  and  then  iu  the 
Inverness  Museum,  bearing  the  legend  '  Crombhte.' 


L.  Ruthven,  Inverness.  On  this  theory  we  have 
(1)  crom  as  base,  (2)  developed  1),  (3)  termin- 
ations -ach,  place  of,  and  -dan  or  -tan,  diminutive, 
all  meaning  Little  place  of  the  bend  ;  cf.  Loch 
Saileach  in  Ireland,  called  by  the  Four  Masters 
Loch  Sailcheadain,1  also  Ardochdainn,  Lochcarron. 
On  the  other  theory  it  would  be  possible  to 
suggest  crom-bath,  with  extension,  bath  being 
an  O.  Ir.  word  glossed  saile  a»d  muir,  sea. 

Cromarty  Firth — G.  Caolas  Chromba'. 

Navity— Navitie  1578  ;  G.  Neamhaididh.  The 
lands  of  Navity  formed  the  endowment  of  a 
chapel  in  the  Cathedral  of  Fortrose.  Hence  from 
'  neimhidh,'  church-land ;  Gaul.  '  nemeton.'  There 
is  another  Nevity  in  Fife ;  Nevody  1477,  Navety 
1531,  which  was  also  church-land. 

Davidston — Dauidstoun  1529  and  1578  ;  G.  Baile 
Dha'  idh. 

Williamstoun  appears  on  Font's  map  east  and  north 
of  Davidston. 

Peddieston — Peddistoun  1578  ;  the  proper  name 
Peddie  occurs  frequently  in  the  session  records. 

Farness — Fames  1576,  Eistir  Fames  and  Litill 
Farness  1578  ;  G.  Fearnais,  place  of  alders  ;  from 
'  fearn,'  with  termination  '-ais,'  for  which  see  Kin- 
nettes  in  Fodderty.  For  the  meaning  cf.  Allerton. 
Cf.  Glenferness,  near  Forres. 

Udale— Vddall  1578  ;  G.  Uadal,  from  Norse  '  y-dalr, 

1  Joyce,  Irish  Names  of  Places  II.,  36. 

126        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

The  Souters — "  Craiges  callit  the  Sowteris"  appears 
in  an  Act  of  Par.,  1593;  G.  na  Sudraichean. 
Various  theories  have  been  offered  in  explanation 
of  the  name,  the  favourite  being  '  sutor,'  a  shoe- 
maker. The  Gaelic  form  favours  a  derivation 
from  sudaire,  a  tanner,  which  gives  rise  to  many 
names  in  Ireland.  Na  Sudraichean  would  thus 
mean  the  place  of  tanners,  or  the  tanneries. 
"  The  Souter"  is  a  hill  in  Strathglass,  G.  an 
t-utar,  Mullach  an  utair,  and  there  is  Souter 
Head  between  Aberdeen  and  Cove. 

Banans — The  Gaelic  is  not  forthcoming,  but  it  is 
probably  an  English  plural  of  '  beannan,'  a  hillock. 

Ardevall — Height  of  the  township. 

"  Castlehill  of  Cromarty,  called  the  Mothill  of  the 

same,"  1599. 

Glen  Urquhart  is  supposed  to  have  been  so  named 
by  or  from  the  Urquharts  of  Cromarty  ;  but  of. 
the  parish  of  Urquhart. 

Rosefarm,  originally  Greenhill ;  so  called  after  Mr 
Rose  of  Tarlogie. 

Easter  Ardmeanach,  on  the  summit  of  the  ridge, 
retains  the  old  official  name  of  the  Black  Isle— 

English   names  for  which   no  Gaelic  has  been 
found  are  : — Newton,  Neilston,  Allerton.  Wood- 
side,  Muirtown,  Whitebog,  Lambton,  Blackstand, 
Colony,  Gallow  hill. 
Obsolete  is 

Arnoche  1644,  '  place  of  sloes.' 


Chaplainry  of  St  Regule  1561  is  located  by  Hugh 

Miller,  as  also  the  Chapel  of  St  Bennet  and  St 
Duthus  Well.  He  also  mentions  a  curious  spring 
called  Sludach. 



Rosemarkie  —  Eosmarkensis    Episcopus   c.    1228; 
Eosmarky    1510.       G.    Eos-maircnidh    or    Eos- 
marcanaidh  ;  also  Eos-mharcanaidh  ;  in  Book  of 
Clanranald  Eos-mhaircni.     Invermarky  1476  Eeg. 
Mag.  Sig.  proves  that  we  are  dealing  with  a  stream 
name  ;  of.  Marknie  Burn  flowing  into  L.  Killin, 
Whitebridge.         Marcnaidh,     or     by     regressive 
assimilation   Maircnidh,  is  based  on  marc,  horse, 
and  might  well  be  the  old  genitive  of  marcnach, 
place   of  horses ;    for   formation    cf.   Muc-an-ach, 
place   of  swine  ;    Clach-an-ach,    place  of  stones. 
Here,  however,  it  is  better  regarded  as  showing 
the  -ie  ending  so  common  in  stream  names,  e.g., 
Feshie,  Mashie,  Tromie,  representing  an  old  -ios. 
Eos  may  mean  (1)  cape,  point ;  (2)  wood,  but  as 
Eosemarkie  is  situated  at  the  base  of  Fortrose 
point,  the  whole  name  means  Point  of  the  horse- 
burn  rather  than  wood  of  the  same.1 
Fortrose — Forterose  1455.     G.  a'  Chananaich,  the 
Chanonry,  lit.  Place  of  Canons,  which  has  eclipsed 
the  true  Gaelic  form  of  Fortrose  just  as  that  of 
Tain    is   eclipsed    by    Baile    Dhubhthaich.       The 

1  Dr  Reeves  (Culdees  p.  45)  quotes  the  Martyrology  of  Tamlacht — 
"  16  March  :  Curitan  epscoip  ocus  abb  Ruis  mic  bairend,"  and  amends  to 
Rosmbaircend,  yielding  "  Curitan  bishop  and  abbot  of  Rosmarky."  The 
Martyrology  of  Donegal  has  Curitan  of  Ros-meinn. 


strong  accent  on  the  first  syllable  of  Fortrose 
shows  Fort  to  be  prepositional  or  adjectival ;  pro- 
bably it  is  foter,  a  "comparative  of  fo,  under.  The 
second  part  may  be  ros,  promontory ;  and  the 
name  may  have  been  given  to  a  part  of  the  pro- 
montory in  contradistinction  to  Rosemarky. 

Balmungie — "  The  lands  of  Balmongie  with  the 
mill  of  Bosmarky"  1567.  G.  Baile-Mhungaidh, 
possibly  Mungo's  stead,  but  more  probably  from 
rnong,  mongach,  a  plant  name  ;  mongach  measca 
glosses  "  simprionica,"  and  is  rendered  mugwort 
by  O'Reilly ;  mong  mhear  is  explained  as 

PlatCOck — "  Platcok  within  the  bounds  of  the 
college  of  the  Chanonry  "  1615  ;  an  obscure  name 
of  which  the  Gaelic  form  cannot  be  recovered. 
Plotcok  appears  in  Kyle,  and  near  Beauly  is 
Platchaig,  G.  Plat-chathaig,  Jackdaw  Flat.  On 
the  West  Coast  Platach  is  fairly  common. 

Eathie— Ethie  1593;  G.  athaidh;  a  stream  name, 
applying  here  primarily  to  the  Eathie  Burn  ;  cf. 
Inveraithie,  Tain  ;  athaidh  represents  a  primitive 
Celtic  atia  or  atios,  in  root  identical  with  ath,  a 
ford.  The  name,  like  other  stream  names  in  -ie, 
is  doubtless  Pictish. 

Learnie — Larny  1576  ;  G.  Leatharnaidh,  locative 
of  leatharnach,  from  lethoir,  side,  meaning  '  place 
011  the  side  of  the  slope.'  Lernock,  Stirling,  may 
be  regarded  as  an  accusative,  Leatharnach,  cf. 
Dornie  as  against  Dornoch  and  Dornock.  Near 

i  Arch  f.  Celt.  Lex.  T.  3,  pp.  336,  344. 

130        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

Inverness  is  a  farm  Castle  Heather,  formerly 
Castle  Leather,  i.e.,  lethoir,  Lordship  of  Leffare, 

Kincurdy — Kincowrdrie  1591  ;  chapel  of  Kincurdie 
1615  and  1641  ;  G.  Cinn-churdaidh.  With  it 
goes  Cnoc-gille-churdaidh,  Avoch,  Englished 
Hurdyhill,  and  probably  Kincurdy  on  Speyside, 
G.  Cinn-chaordaidh,  where  the  difference  in  vowel 
sound  may  be  dialectic.  This  very  difficult  word 
might  be  compared  with  Curr  in  Duthil,  G.  curr, 
corner  or  pit,  Welsh  cwr,  corner,  but  for  the  fact 
that  the  formation  Cnoc-gille-churdaidh  strongly 
suggests  some  proper  name. 

Raddery — Eatherie  and  Wester  Eatherie  1576  ; 
G.  Eadharaidh  from  radhar  '  an  arable  field  not  in 
tillage'  (H.S.D.),  pasture  ground,  with  -ach 
suffix,  giving  radharach,  place  of  pasture,  old 
locative  radharaigh.  In  Perthshire  we  have  "  na 
radharaichean,'  the  places  of  pasture.  *  Daimh 
mhor  Eadharaidh,'  the  big  oxen  of  Eaddery,  is 
part  of  a  local  saw,  which  may,  however,  be  really 
aimed  at  the  people  of  Eaddery. 

Broomhill — 'The  Inche  and  Bromehill,'  1576. 

Ardmeanach — Mid-height,  i.e.,  between  the  Crom- 
arty  and  Moray  Firths  ;  interesting  as  retaining 
the  old  official  designation  of  the  Black  Isle. 

Boggiewell — G.  Bog  an  fhuarain;  there  is  a  fine 
spring  just  below  the  farmhouse. 

Corslet — Probably  Crois-leathad,  cross-slope;  it  is 
by  the  road  just  above  Eosemarkie,  and  may 
commemorate  the  site  of  one  of  the  sculptured 


Plowerburn — No  Gaelic  has  been  found  for  this 
modern  name,  but  Kinnock  of  Blaeu  and  records 
appears  to  be  now  Flowerburn  Mains. 

No  Gaelic  has  been  found  for  Hillock, 
Feddenhill,  The  Gamrock,  Berryhill,  Ryenat, 
Muiryden,  Weston,  Claypots  ;  while  Pettyslaiiis 
or  Petslaw  of  the  records  is  obsolete ;  its  latest 
form  is  Piddslaw,  and  it  seems  to  have  been  near 
Petconnoquhy,  now  Rosehaugh. 



Avoch— Baronia  de  Auach  1328  ;  Auauch  1338 
(Keg.  Mor.)  ;  Alvach  1493  ;  Awoch  1558  ;  G. 
Obh'ch  (for  Abhach  with  change  of  a  to  o),  from 
O.  Ir.  ab,  later  abh,  a  river,  with  -ach  suffix : 
River-place.  Cf.  Loch  Awe,  Gael.  Loch  Obha, 
described  by  Adamnan  as  "  stagnum  fluminis 
Abae,"  the  loch  of  the  river  Aba.  The  stream  on 
which  Avoch  stands  is  called  in  its  upper  reaches 
the  Gooseburn,  G.  Allt  nan  geadh,  and  appears  in 
1676  as  "the  Goossburn"  in  connection  with 
"  the  Goosswell  of  Killeane." 

Rosehaugh — A  name  imposed  by  Sir  George  Mac- 
kenzie towards  the  end  of  the  17th  century.  The 
old  name  was  Petconachy  1456,  Petquhonochty 
1458  ;  Pettenochy  1526  ;  Petconnoquhy  1527 
(with  a  mill),  i.e.,  Pit  Dhonnachaidh,  Duncan's 
stead.  The  spot  where  the  gardens  of  Rosehaugh 
house  now  stand  is  still  known  as  Pairc  an 
Leothaid,  Hill-side  Park. 

Castleton— Castletoun  1456  ;  G.  Bail'  a'  Chaisteil, 
from  Ormond  Castle  hard  by.  The  ruins  of  this 
once  great  and  important  seat  may  still  be  seen 
on  Ormond  Hill,  also  known  as  Lady  hill,  from  the 
fact  that  there  was  a  chapel  on  or  near  it  dedi- 
cated to  the  Virgin  Mary  (Reg.  Sec.  Sig.  1528). 

AVOCH.  133 

The  Castle  of  Ormond  appears  to  have  belonged 
to  the  De  Moravia  or  Moray  family  from 
thirteenth  century  times,  but  there  is  little 
mention  of  it  in  records  subsequent  to  the  middle 
of  the  fourteenth.  Frequent  mention,  however, 
is  found  of  the  Moot-hill  (mons)  of  Ormond,  in 
connection  with  the  titles  of  Earl,  Marquis,  and 
Duke  of  Ormond. 

Muiralehouse — Muirailhouse  1611  explains  itself. 

Halloch— G.  ?  (S)halach  ;  doubtful. 

Lochala — G.  Loch-ala,  an  obscure  name,  but  cf. 
Welsh  '  alaw,'  water-lily. 

Bennetsfield  --  Bennatfeld  1456  ;  Bennatisfelde 
1458;  Bannathfield  1527;  Bannagefield  1541; 
Bennetisfield  1548;  G.  Baile  Bhenneit,  Town  of 
Bennet,  i.e.,  St  Benedict.  Near  it  is  Clack 
Bhenneit,  Bennet's  stone,  immediately  below 
which  is  the  holy  well  called  Tobar  Cliragag,  well 
of  the  little  rock,  still  frequented  on  the  first 
Sabbath  of  May. 

Ballon 8 — G.  Bail  an  loin,  town  of  the  wet  meadow. 

Corrachie — G.  Corrachaidh,  from  corrach,  steep. 

Arcandeith  —  Arky  ndwy  cht  1586;  Auchindeuch 
1611  ;  Arcanduth  1641  ;  G.  Arcan-duibh,  Black 
Arcan ;  cf.  Arcan,  Urray.  Here  '  duibh '  is 
obviously  a  translation  of  Arcan,  the  black  place. 
On  the  place  are  the  ruins  of  a  small  fortalice, 
whence  the  local  explanation,  airc-Eoin-dhuibh, 
Black  John's  ark,  or  fortress.  A  Highland  reaver, 
Black  John  has  been  evolved  to  lend  colour  to 
this  piece  of  popular  etymology,  but  the  phonetics 
do  not  suit. 

134        PLACE-NAMES    OF   BOSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

Newton — ?  Newton  1456  ;  G.  am  baile  nodha. 

Insch — The  Inch  1576  ;  G.  an  i's,  the  meadow 

Rhives — G.  given  as  (l)  na  Ruighean,  the  slopes  ; 
(2)  (ann  an)  Ruigheas.  The  latter  may  be  a 
Gaelic  pronunciation  of  the  English  form.  Rhives 
in  Kilmuir  is  '  na  Ruigheannan  ;'  Rhives,  Golspie, 
na  Ruigheach. 

Coulnagour — G.  Cuil  nan  gobhar,  goats'  nook. 

Killen— Kyllayn  circ.  1338,  Killan  1456  ;  Killane 
1524  ;  G.  Cill-Annaidh  or  Cill-Fhannaidh.  The 
Gaelic  form  puts  Cill-fhinn,  White-church,  or 
Church  of  St  Fionn  out  of  the  question,  and  there 
seems  to  be  no  saint  whose  name  will  suit  the 
dedication.  St  Anue,  which  would  suit  the 
phonetics,  is  hardly  to  be  thought  of  on  Celtic 
Near  Killen  is  Cnoc-an-teampuill,  Temple-hill. 

Auchterflow — Ochtercloy  1456,  Achtirflo  1560, 
Ochtercloy  1568  ;  G.  Uachdar-chlo.  Clo  is 
glossed  by  O'Mulconry  '  gaoth,'  wind.  In  the 
Psalms  we  have  '  clo  codail,'  '  vapour '  of  sleep. 
The  word  appears  to  be  obsolete  in  spoken  Gaelic, 
but  '  windy  upland '  gives  good  sense. 

Buntata  proinnt'  is  bainne  leo 
Biadh  bodaich  Uachdar-chlo  ! 

Pookandraw — G.   bog  an  t-strath,   Strath-bog,   in 

the  Strath  of  Auchterflow. 
Blairfoid    (really    pron.     Blairwhyte)  —  Blairfoyde 

1627;    G.    Blar-choighde,    Moor    of    Coit,    with 

AVOCH.  135 

which    may    be    compared    Erchite,    Dores,    G. 

Airchoighd.'     This  spelling  represents  the  Gaelic 

pronunciation   of  this    doubtless    Pictish    name, 

which  may,  perhaps,  be  compared  with  Teutonic 

hag,  hedge. 

Shawpark — G.  Pairc  an  t-seadh  ;  doubtful. 
Ordhill — G.  Cnoc  an  uird. 
Templand — Tempilland  1586  ;  no  Gaelic  found. 
Geddeston — G.    Baile   na'    geadas  ;  ?  Town   of  the 

tufty  heads. 
Pitfuir— Pethfouyr  circ.   1338,  Petfure  1456;  Pet- 

fuyr,  with  its  mill  called  Denemylne,   1526  ;  G. 

Pit-fhuir,    Pasture-stead,    a    Pictish    name ;    cf. 

Dochfour,    Balfour,     Pitfure    (Rogart),    Inchfuir, 

and  Porin.     The  mill  is  now  called  the  Mill  of 

Lochlaichley — G.  Loch  Ligh,  spate-loch  ;  cf.  Loch 

Ligh  in  Contin.     Achalee  appears  in  1458. 
Bog  of  Shannon — Boigschangie  1586  ;  G.  Bog  na' 

seannan,  ?  seann  athan,  bog  of  the  old  fords. 
No  Gaelic  has  been  found  for  the  following  :— 

Crosshill,     Tourie-lum,     Gracefield,     Knockmuir, 

Coldhome,  Limekilns. 

136         PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 


Knockbain — G.  An  Cnoc-ban,  white-hill,  is  now 
the  name  of  the  joint  parishes  of  Kilmuir  Wester 
and  Suddy  (united  1756). 

Kilmuir — Kilmowir  1561  ;  G.  Gill  Mhoire,  Mary's 
Church.  The  old  church  stands  near  the  sea- 
shore. The  graveyard  contains  many  stones  of 
considerable  antiquity,  with  late  Celtic  carving 
similar  to  that  seen  on  the  stones  in  Killianan  at 
Abriachan  and  at  Glenconvinth  Chapel. 

Suddy— Sudy  1227;  Suthy  1476.  G.  Suidhe 
(bheag  is  Suidhe  mhor),  Seat ;  the  absence  of  the 
article  in  Gaelic  is  noteworthy. 

Kessock  Ferry — Land  and  ferry  of  Estir  Kessok 
1437.  G.  Aiseig  Cheiseig,  generally  connected 
with  St  Kessock  ;  the  Gaelic  use,  however,  shows 
no  sign  of  Kessock  being  regarded  here  as  a  per- 
sonal name. 

Bellfield    includes    what    is    known   in    Gaelic   as 
Ceiseig  uachdarach,  Upper  Kessock  ;  also  partly 
covers    the     old    Do'ach     Cheiseig,    Davach    of 
Kessock.       Near  the  firth  is   Tiyh  a'  mhuilinn, 

Redfield — G.  an  raon  dearg.  Broomliill,  G.  an 
cnoc  bealaidh,  is  now  part  of  it. 

Arpafeelie — G.  Arpa-philidh,  also  Arpa-philich,  an 
obscure  name.  The  first  part  may  be  '  alp,'  an 


eminence.  In  it  is  included  Glaickmore,  G.  a' 
ghlaic  mhor,  the  big  hollow. 

CottertOH — G.  Achadh  nan  coitear. 

Allanbank — G.  an  Reim,  '  the  course ' ;  O.  Ir.  reim 
Near  it  is  Quarryfield,  G.  Tigh  an  rothaid, 

Teablair — G.  Tigh  a'  bhlair,  House  of  the  moor. 
Near  it  is  Teaivig,  G.  Tigh  a'  bhuic,  Buck- 

Teandore — G.  Tigh  an  todhair,  Bleaching-house. 
There  is  another  near  Drynie. 

Allangrange — Allangrange  1574.  G.  Alan  (no 
article) ;  a  Pictish  name  for  which  v.  Alness. 
Part  of  it  is  Bog  Alain,  the  Bog  of  Allan. 

Allanglack — G.  Alan  nan  clach,  Stony  Allan. 

Allanrich — G.  Alan  an  fhraoich,  Heathery  Allan. 

Whitegate — G.  An  geat  ban — modern  name. 

Belmaduthy  —  Balmaduthy  1456,  Bo  wmaldut  hy 
1538  ;  G.  Baile  mac  Duibh,  Stead  of  Duffs  sons  ; 
cf.  Pitmaduthy.  This  disposes  of  the  idea  that 
the  old  Church  of  Suddy  was  dedicated  to 
St  Duthac  of  Tain,  if,  as  the  Editor  of  the  Grig. 
Paroch.  states,  "  the  sole  ground  for  conjecturing 
this  is  the  local  name  Belmaduthy,  interchanged 
in  old  writs  of  Tain  with  Balleguith1  or  Baile- 

Balnakyle — G.  Baile  na  coille,  Wood-town. 

Balnaguie — G.  Baile  na  gaoith,  Windy  town  ;  cf. 
Ardgay,  without  the  article — an  older  formation. 

1  Balleguith  stands  rather  for  Balkeith,  q.v. 

138        PLACE-NAMES    OF   BOSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

Muirends  or  Muirtown— ?  Merane  1456;  Muren 
1458  ;  Meran  1478  ;  G.  Mordun,  Great  Fort ;  the 
strong  accent  on  mor  has  shortened  dun  to  dun ; 
cf.  Findon,  G.  Fionndun.  There  is  a  stone  circle 
in  a  wood  in  this  place. 

Roskhill — G.  An  Boisgeil. 

Belton — G.  not  known. 

Shantullich — G.  An  t-seann  tulaich,  Old-hillock. 

Braevil— G.  Breigh  a'  bhaile,  Upland  of  the  stead. 

Drumderfit  —  Drumdafurde  1456  ;  Drumdervate 
1539  ;  Drumdarwecht  1564  ;  G.  Druim(a)diar. 
Locally  explained  as  "  ridge  of  tears."  Its  former 
name  was  Druim  dubh,  but  it  became  the  scene  of 
a  battle  so  sanguinary  that  of  the  beaten  party 
only  one  survived.  Hence  it  was  said  "  Bu  druim 
dubh  an  de  thu,  ach  's  druima  diar  an  diugh." 
Black  ridge  wert  thou  yesterday,  but  ridge  of 
tears  to-day.1  The  legend  as  to  the  change  of 
name  is  significant  in  view  of  the  double  form  in 
Gaelic  and  English.  The  probability  is  that  we 
are  dealing  with  a  word  of  Pictish  origin,  of  which 
the  Gaelic  speakers  took  the  part  that  seemed  to 
them  intelligible,  dropping  the  rest  which  appears 
in  English  as  -fit,  and  in  the  records  as  -vate,  etc. 

Drynie — Dryne  1586  ;  G.  Droighnidh  (no  article), 
place  of  thorns.  Above  it  is  Creagaidli  thorn, 
little  rock  of  hillocks  or  humps.  Drynie  includes 

1  With  this  may  be  compared  the  legend  given  in  the  Book  of  Deer  as  to 
the  origin  of  the  name  Deer  :  "  tangator  deara  drosta"n  arscarthdin  fri  collum- 
cille  ;  rolaboir  columcille,  bedear  dnim  ohunn  imaic "  ;  Drostan's  tears  came 
on  parting  with  Columcille  ;  Columcille  said  :  "  Be  Dear  its  name  from 
hence  forth." 

KNOCKS  AIN.  139 

Ceann  an  achaidh,  head  of  the  cultivated  field  ; 

Bail'    a'    bhlair,    Muirtown ;    Srath  fhliuchaidh, 

strath  of  wetness ;  Tigh  an  t-sluic,  house  of  the 

pit ;  An  Lainnsear,  Englished  Lancer,  a  doubtful 

word  perhaps,  based  on  lainn,  an  enclosure. 
Yairhead — G.   a'  cheir-eud,  on  Munlochy  bay  ;  the 

G.  form,  if  it  is  not  the  English  form  taken  over, 

is  beyond  me. 
Slagaharn — G.  Slac  a'  charn,  Hollow  or  Slack  of  the 

cairn.     Near  it  is  Muilednn  an  t-sail,  Salt-water 

mill,  once  a  tidal  mill. 
Drumsmittal — G.     Druima-smiotail,     probably    by 

dissimilation  for  Druim-spiteil,  ridge  of  the  Spital, 

or  hostelry.     The  Spittal  wood  is  well  to  the  west. 
On  the  ridge  are  : — An  Cam   Glas,  the  grey 

cairn  ;  also  Am  Blar  Liath,  the  hoary  moor,  with 

many  tumuli. 
Isteane — G.  I's-dian;   '  i V  is  the  reduced  form  of 

innis,   haugh  ;   '  dian '  from    the   lie   of  the  land 

cannot  mean   '  steep ' ;    it  must,   therefore,   mean 

'  sheltered.' 

Coldwells — G.  am  Bealaidh,  the  broom. 
Charleston — G.  baile  Thearlaich,  after  Sir  Charles 

Mackenzie  of  Kilcoy.     The  first  house  here  was 

built  1812. 

Craigbreck — G.  a'  chreag  bhreac,  the  dappled  rock. 
Grlaickarduich— G.  a'  ghlaic,  the  hollow  ;  also  Glaic 

ar  dubhaig,  hollow  of  the  little  black  stream  or 

place,  ar  being  a  corruption  of  an,  the  article. 

Of.  Glaic  an  dubhaig  in  Urray. 


Croftnacreich — G.  Creit  nan  Crioch,  boundary  croft. 

Pitlundie— Petlundy  1456;  G.  Pit-lunndaidh,  the 
stead  of  Lundy.  Lundy,  G.  Lunndaidh,  adjoins, 
and  is  very  marshy.  Also  Loch  Lundy,  an  ugly, 
dark  loch,  reputed  of  great  depth,  and  the  haunt 
of  a  '  tairbh  uisge,'  water  bull,  whose  herd  may  be 
heard  in  winter  bellowing  beneath  the  ice.  For 
meaning  v.  Maoil  Lunndaidh,  Contin. 

SligO — Slego  1579.  G.  Sligeach,  (the)  shelly  place. 
It  is  on  the  south  shore  of  Munlochy  Bay. 

Bayfield,  formerly  Creit  Seocaidh,  Jockey's  croft. 

Craigiehow — G.  creag  a'  chobh,  rock  of  the  cave. 
Cobh  is  doubtless  to  be  compared  with  the  Ir. 
diminutive  cabhan,  a  hollow,  Welsh  cau,  Lat.  cavea. 
In  this  cave  lie  the  Feinn,  awaiting  the  blowing  of 
the  horn  which  is  to  rouse  them  from  their  sleep. 
It  is,  or  was,  believed  to  extend  to  Loch  Lundy. 
A  dropping  well  at  the  mouth  of  the  cave  was 
resorted  to  until  quite  recently  to  cure  deafness. 
"  Ged  is  mor  Creag  a'  Chobh,  is  beag  a  feum  " ; 
though  big  is  Craigiehow,  small  is  its  use. 

Arrie — G.  an  airigh,  the  shieling,  on  the  top  of 

Tigh  na  h-irich,  locally  connected  with  '  fir  each,' 
a  hill,  or  steep  declivity,  which  suits  the  place  ; 
but  this  would  require  tigh  an  fhirich, 

Teandore — G.  Tigh  an  todhair,  Bleaching-house. 
Near  it  is  an  Raoid'as,  an  obscure  name.  Also 
Creit  a  chlobha,  Tongs- croft ;  but  perhaps  clobha 
(N.  klofi)  is  here  used  in  its  primary  meaning  of 
1  fork,' 


Paulfield — G.  am  Bard,  the  meadow. 

Tullich— G.  An  Tulaich,  the  hillock. 

Munlochy— Munlochy  1328,  Mullochie  1605  ;  G. 
Poll-lochaidh.  Both  the  English  and  the  Gaelic 
forms  are  corruptions  of  Bun-lochaidh,  root  or 
inner  end  of  the  loch,  i.e.,  Munlochy  Bay,  which 
in  Gaelic  is  Ob  Poll-lochaidh. 

Hurdyhill — G.  Cnoc-gille-churdaidh,  cf.  Kincurdy. 
This  hillock  is  famous  for  fairies,  and  possesses  a 
holy  well  once  in  great  vogue  and  still  visited. 

James  Temple — G.  Cnoc-Seumas-Chaisteil,  as  if 
'  Hill  of  James  of  the  Castle.'  There  is  on  it  what 
may  be  the  remains  of  a  prehistoric  fort. 

Ord  Hill — G.  Cnoc  an  Uird,  with  remains  of  a 
large  fort,  with  extensive  vitrifaction. 

Blar  na  C6i — G.  Blar  na  Cuinge,  Field  of  the  yoke, 
with  tradition  of  a  battle  in  which,  as  at  Lun- 
carty,  the  event  was  decided  by  a  plough-yoke. 

142        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 


Killearnan — Kilernane  1561 ;  G.  Cill-iurnain  ;  there 
is  also  Carn-iurnain  in  this  parish.  In  Kildonan, 
Sutherland,  is  another  Killearnan,  the  Gaelic  form 
of  which  is  exactly  the  same.  lurnan  is,  of  course, 
the  name  of  the  saint  who  founded  the  '  cill,'  or  to 
whom  it  was  dedicated.  Ernan,  St  Columba's 
nephew,  does  not  suit  the  Gaelic  phonetics,  but 
we  find  exactly  what  we  want  in  Iturnan,  of  whom 
the  Chronicle  of  the  Scots  records,  under  date 
665,  '  Iturnan  et  Corinda  apud  Pictones  defunct! 
sunt.'  A  fragment  of  Tighernac's  Annals  reads— 
'668  Itharnan  et  Corindu  apud  Pictores  defuincti 
sunt.'  The  name  of  Iturnan,  who  died  among  the 
Picts  circ.  665,  will,  with  the  regular  aspiration  of 
intervocalic  t,  become  I(th)urnan. 

Carn-iurnain,  lurnan's  cairn,  suggests  the  possi- 
bility of  the  saint  having  been  buried  there.  Local 
tradition,  as  recorded  in  the  new  Stat.  Ace.,  con- 
nects the  name  with  Irenan,  a  supposed  '  Danish 

Redcastle — G.  an  Caisteal  ruadh.  It  is  now  agreed 
that  the  modern  Kedcastle  represents  the  ancient 
castle  of  Edirdovar,  founded  by  William  the  Lion 
in  1179.1  Edirdovar  is  from  eadar,  between, 
and  O.G.  dobur,  water,  between  the  waters,  from 

1  Or.  Par.  Scot.  II.  2,  Killearnan. 


its  position  between  the  Beauly  and  Cromarty 

Kilcoy— Culcolly  1294  and  1456,  Culcowy  1479 
and  1511  ;  G.  Cul-challaidh.  Cul  is  perhaps  cuil, 
nook,  rather  than  cul,  back ;  callaidh  is  to  be 
compared  with  Bealach  Collaidh,  between  Wyvis 
and  Inchbae,  both  being  based  on  coll,  Welsh  and 
O.I.  for  hazel,  with  -ach  suffix,  representing  a 
primitive  Coslacon.  Kilcoy  thus  means  nook 
(possibly  back)  of  the  hazel  wood.  '  The  wood 
(bosco)  of  Culcolly'  appears  in  record  in  1294. 

Drynie  Park — Drynys  1579  ;  G.  Pairce  Dhroigh- 
nidh,  park  of  the  thorn-place. 

Muckernich — G.  a'  Mhucarnaich,  the  swine-place, 

Tore — G.  an  Todhar,  the  bleaching  spot ;  cf.  Balin- 
tore;  at  Tore  is  Cnoc-an-acrais,  Hunger-hill,  where  a 
market  used  to  be  held  called  Feill  Cnoc-an-acrais. 

Croftcrunie — G.  Creit  a'  Chrimaidh  ;  can  hardly 
mean  Crowner's  croft,  though  such  appears  on 
record  somewhere  between  this  and  Avoch  ;  per- 
haps a  Pictish  word  based  on  root  seen  in  W. 
crwn,  round,  Ir.  cron,  a  circular  hollow.  What 
appears  to  be  the  article  a'  may  be  only  the  com- 
mon '  sporadic  vowel,'  as  in  Cill(e)-  Mhoire. 

Drumnamarg — Drumnamarg  1456,  Drumnamergy 
1458,  Drumnamarge  1511  ;  G.  Druim-nam-marg, 
merk-ridge,  or  ridge  of  the  merk-lands. 

Teanahuig— G.  Tigh  na  h-uige,  House  of  the  nook, 
a  term  often  applied  on  the  West  Coast  to  a  small 
inn  or  shebeen. 


Ryefleld — G.  Ach  an  t-seagail. 

Colington — G.  Baile  Chailein,  after  Sir  Colin  Mac- 

Whitewells — G.  am  Fuaran  ban.  includes  the  small 
farm  of  Allt-an-digeadair,  Dyker's  burn. 

Spittal — G.  Spiteil,  from  hospital,  a  place  of  enter- 

GargUSton — Gargastoun  1456  ;  G.  Baile-ghargaidh. 
The  form  Gargastoun  points  to  a  personal  name, 
or  rather  nickname,  garg,  fierce  ;  garg,  however, 
seems  to  occur  in  genuine  place-names  ;  cf.  Lub  ar 
ghargain  in  Contin. 

Blairdow — G.  am  Blar  dubh,  the  black  moor. 

Milton — G.  Bail  a'  mhuilinn. 

Fettes — Called  after  Sir  William  Fettes  ;  includes 
An  Claran,  the  little  flat ;  Am  Baile  Nodha, 
Newtown ;  A  Cheapaich,  the  tillage  plot ;  Burn- 
town,  Bunchaim,  Barntoivn,  and  Drumore,  most 
of  them  holdings  of  fair  size.  Near  it  is  na 
Peit'chan,  an  interesting  formation  from  the  Pictish 
pett,  a  stead,  formed  on  the  same  principle  as  na 
Bothachan,  Boath.  The  formation  shows  how 
thoroughly  the  Pictish  pett  became  a  Gaelic  word. 

Chapelton — G.  Bail'  an  t-seipeil,  now  part  of  Fettes. 

ParktOWn — G.  Baile  na  pairce. 

Coulmore — Culmor  1394  ;  G.  A'  Chuil-mhor,  the 
big  nook,  which  describes  it. 

Balglineirie — G.  Baile  gun  iarraidh,  town  without 
asking ;  perhaps  to  be  compared  with  the  English 
Unthank,  the  name  of  three  places  in  Cumberland 
and  two  in  Northumberland,  which,  Canon  Taylor 


says,  denotes  a  piece  of  ground  on  which  some 
squatter  had  settled  '  without  leave '  of  the  lord. 

Balgunloune — G.  Baile  gun  lionn,  town  without 
beer  ;  perhaps  modelled  humorously  on  the  pre- 
ceding. There  are  local  tales,  too  pointless  to 
relate,  as  to  the  origin  of  both  names. 

Ploverfield — G.  Blar  nam  feadag. 

Lettoch— Westir  and  Estir  Haldach  1527,  half  the 
lands  of  Dawaucht  1530,  lands  of  Haldacht  with 
the  kiln  of  the  same  called  Toldegormok  1580, 
Wester  Half  Daokis  1586  ;  Haddoch  and  Torgar- 
noche  1611,  Leadanach  and  Torgormack  1639  ; 
G.  An  Leithda'ch,  the  half-davach.  The  record 
forms  quoted  show  clearly  the  transition  from 
the  Gaelic  Leith-dabhach  to  the  hybrid  Haddo. 
Part  of  Lettoch  is  Bog  na  h-eileig  and  Loch  na 
h-eileig ;  eileag  is  doubtful,  but  may,  perhaps,  be 
a  formation  from  ail,  rock,  used  in  the  sense  of 
eileach,  a  contrivance  for  catching  fish ;  cf  Allt 
Eileag.  Seawards  of  this  loch  is  Torgorm,  green 
knoll,  referred  to  in  the  record  as  Toldegormok, 
Torgarnoche,  and  Torgormack. 

Corgraiu — G.  Coir'  a'  ghrain. 

Wellhouse— G.  Tigh  an  fhuarain. 

Linnie — G.  An  linne,  the  pool ;  also  Linn'  a'  bhuic 
bhain,  pool  of  the  white  buck.  Linne  Mac  Vain 
in  old  rental. 

Gallowhill — G.  Cnoc  na  croiche. 

Cnoc-an-eireach — Hill  of  the  assemblies  or  meet- 
ings (eireachd). 


146        PLACE-NAMES    OF    ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

Artafaillie— Ardirfalie  1526,  Arthirfairthlie  1584; 
G.  Airt-a-fkillidh.  From  the  old  spellings  and 
the  t  of  Airt  in  Gaelic  it  appears  that  a  word 
ending  in  r  and  beginning  with  d,  or  better  t,  has 
been  curtailed  to  a  in  the  middle  of  the  name, 
thus  giving  Ard-tir-faillidh  or  Ard-dor-faillidh. 
Faillidh  is  probably  genitive  of  falach,  place  of 
sods,  falaigh,  with  regressive  assimilation.  The 
whole  word  would  thus  mean  '  High  land  of 
the  place  of  sods';  'High  water  of,'  &c.,  does 
not  suit  the  place.  With  Faillidh  of  Drochaid 
Faillidh,  Faillie  Bridge  and  farm  of  Faillie  in 
Daviot,  and  for  meaning  Fadoch  in  KintaiL 

In  1456  appear  on  record  the  Smithy  croft,  the 
Forestercroft,  the  Portarecroft,  the  Marecroft, 
the  Sergandcrofft,  the  Crownarecrofb ;  and  in 
1479  the  Currourecroft — probably  connected  with 

CONTIN.  147 


Contin — Conten  1227,  Contan  1510  ;  G.  Cunndainn. 
Contin  is  primarily  the  district  at  the  con- 
fluence of  the  rivers  Conon  and  Blackwater ; 
from  this  the  name  has  been  extended  to 
cover  the  extensive  Highland  parish  which 
stretches  from  Contin  proper  to  the  neighbour- 
hood of  Kinlochewe.  The  Old  Stat.  Ace.  sug- 
gests as  a  derivation  '  con-tuinn,'  from  '  con/ 
together,  and  '  tonn,'  wave,  meaning  '  meeting 
of  the  waves,'  an  explanation  which  satisfies  the 
phonetics  ;  cf.  Contullich,  from  '  con  '  and  '  tulach.' 
The  question,  however,  is  whether  '  tonn '  would 
be  naturally  applied  to  the  water  of  a  river,  and 
it  will,  I  think,  be  agreed  that  such  a  usage  would 
be  very  difficult  to  parallel,  '  tonn '  being,  except 
in  the  language  of  poetic  metaphor,  confined  to 
the  waves  of  the  sea.  The  first  syllable  is  cer- 
tainly '  con,'  together,  and  the  meaning  is 
doubtless  something  like  '  confluence.'  If  we 
turn  to  Gaul,  we  find  that  the  stock  name  for  a 
confluence  is  Condate,  represented  in  modern 
French  by  Conde.  This  name  appears  often  on 
the  map  of  ancient  Gaul  at  the  junction  of  streams, 
and  we  find  also  Condatomagus,  plain  of  the 
confluence,  as  well  as  Condatisco.  In  ancient 
Britain,  Condate  appears  once,  at  the  junction  of 


the  ?  Weaver  (Cheshire)  with  a  small  stream. 
The  word  is  analysed  into  '  con/  and  the  root 
'  dhe,'  set,  a  root  familiar  in  Latin  and  Greek,  the 
etymological  equivalent  of  Condate  being  in  Greek 
'  syn-thesis,'  and  in  late  Latin  '  con-ditio,'  from 
4  condo,'  a  setting  together.  It  is  tolerably  certain 
that  in  Contin  we  have  the  representative  of  some 
such  word  as  '  Condationn-,'  an  extension  of  Con- 
date.  As  a  Scottish  place-name,  Contin,  though 
rare,  is  not  unique.  Dr  Macbain,  in  his  Badenoch 
Place-names,  notes  that  Killiehuntly  in  Badenoch 
is  in  Gaelic  '  Coille  Chunndainn,'  the  Wood  of 
Contin,  and  refers  also  to  Contuimi  in  Ireland,  on 
the  borders  of  Meath  and  Cavan.  There  is  also 
Bohuntin  in  Glenroy,  Gaelic  Both-chunndainn. 
Both  these  Scottish  names  apply  to  confluences. 
Cf.  also  Confluentes,  now  Coblenz. 

Achilty — Auchquhilye  1479,  Hechely  (Easter  and 
Wester)  1528,  the  two  Achelies  1529,  Auchelle 
1539,  Achillie  1681;  G.  Achillidh.  The  't'  of 
the  English  form  is  late  and  euphonic,  and  appears 
also  in  Achiltybuy,  in  Coigach.  Achilty  is  a 
Pictish  name,  of  the  same  origin  as  Welsh  '  uchel,' 
high,  seen  in  the  Ochil  Hills  and  in  Oykel, 
Ptolemy's  High  Bank.  The  variation  between 
'  o '  and  '  a '  is  common  ;  cf.  Scone,  old  Gaelic 
Scoan,  genitive  Scoine  ;  modern  Gaelic  Sgain. 

Coul— Cwyl  1476,  alehouse  of  Coul  1576  ;  Easy 
Coull  and  the  mill  of  the  same  1586;  Escoule 
(Waterfall  of  Coull)  1669  ;  G.  a  Chuil,  the  corner, 

CONTIN.  149 

Comrie — Cumre  1479,  Cumerley  1528,  Cumry  1529  ; 
G.  Comraidh,  from  '  comar,'  confluence,  meaning 
Place  of  the  confluence.  The  confluence  is  that 
of  the  Conon  from  Lochluichart,  and  the  Meig 
from  Strathconan.  Of.  Comar  in  Strathglass, 
Comrie  in  Perthshire,  and  elsewhere.  It  appears 
also  in  Cumbernauld,  i.e.,  '  comar-nan-allt/  where 
it  has  developed  a  *  b,'  just  like  the  English 
'number'  from  Latin  '  numerus.'  There  is  a 
Combaristum  in  Gaul,  on  a  tributary  of  the 

Scatwell— Litill  Scathole,  Scathole  Mekle  1479; 
the  two  Scatellis  1529 ;  G.  Scatail  beag  and 
Scatail  m6r ;  from  Norse  scat-vollr,  i.e.,  common 
grazing  land,  the  holders  of  which  paid  scat  or 
tax  for  the  grazing  privileges. 

Strathconon  —  ?  Strathconon  1309,  Strquhonane 
1479,  Strachonane  1538  ;  G.  Srath-chonuinn. 
The  initial  difficulty  about  Strathconon  is  that  its 
river,  which  by  all  analogy  ought  to  be  the 
Conon,  is  the  Meig.  There  is  a  local  saying — 

Abhainn  Mig  tre  Srath-chonuinn, 
Abhainn  Conuinn  tre  Srath-bhrainn, 
Abhainn  Dubh-chuileagach  tre  Srath-ghairbh  ; 
Tri  abhnaichean  gun  tairbh  iad  sin. 

The  River  Meig  through  Strathconan, 

The  River  Conon  through  Strathbran, 

The  River  of  black  nooks1  through  Strathgarve  ; 

Three  rivers  without  profit  these. 

1  Possibly  '  River  of  black  flies.' 

150        PLACE-NAMES    OF    ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

The  omission  of  the  two  last  words  of  the  fourth 
line  would  be  an  improvement ;  but  I  give  it  as  I 
got  it,  and  it  is  a  hard  saying  at  best.  In  the 
first  place,  Strathbran  has  a  river  of  its  own,  the 
Bran,  which,  as  is  proper,  gives  its  name  to  its 
strath.  The  head  waters  of  the  Bran  come  from 
the  watershed  west  of  Loch  Chroisg  (Loch 
Kosque),  and  the  river  is  called  Bran  the  moment 
it  leaves  that  loch.  Thence  it  flows  through 
Strathbran,  widening  out  to  form  Loch  Achanalt, 
Loch  a'  Chuilinn,  and  finally  Loch  Luichart. 
Issuing  from  Loch  Luichart,  it  has  a  course  of  a 
little  over  a  mile  before  it  joins  the  Meig  above 
Cornrie,  and  it  is  in  this  last  short  stretch  that  it 
is  called  the  Conon.  Thenceforward  the  Conon 
is  the  name  of  the  joint  stream.  The  solution  of 
the  difficulty  that  occurs  to  me  is  that  the  name 
Conon  applies  properly  only  to  the  stream  below 
the  junction  with  the  Meig.  On  this  supposition 
Strathconon  would  originally  have  been  restricted 
to  the  valley  of  the  joint  stream,  but  in  time 
extended  to  the  valley  of  the  Meig,  of  which  it  is 
a  continuation.  This  would  be  natural  enough, 
and  it  would  also  be  natural  to  extend  the  name 
of  Conon  to  the  short  stretch  of  river  from  Loch- 
luichart,  though,  as  this  latter  valley  is  a 
continuation  of  Strathbran,  the  original  name  of 
its  stream  most  probably  was  the  Bran,  and  the 
name  Strathbran  would  have  covered  the  whole 
valley  down  to  the  junction.  Such  a  change  of 
name  would  be  helped  by  the  size  of  Loch 

CONTIN.  151 

Luichart,    and   the   increased   volume    of    water 
issuing  from  it. 

A  somewhat  similar  difficulty  is  presented  by 
Stratherrick  (Inverness)  arid  the  river  Faragaig. 
The  Faragaig  ought  to  be  in  Stratherrick,  G. 
Srath-fharagaig,  but  in  point  of  fact  it  flows 
through  a  neighbouring  glen. 

As  to  derivation,  it  is  natural  to  connect  Strath- 
conon  with  the  personal  name  Conan.  Conan 
was  the  name  of  a  Fenian  hero  ;  also  of  a  Celtic 
missionary,  whose  name  appears  in  Killachonan, 
Fortingall,  Perth,  and  perhaps  in  the  K  Conon, 
Uig,  Skye,  G.  Abhainn  Chonnain,  where  Con- 
nan  is  a  diminutive  of  Conn,  a  proper  name. 
There  is,  however,  no  authority  for  the  connection 
of  either  hero  or  saint  with  Strathconon,  nor  will 
either  Conan  or  Connan  suit  the  phonetics  of 
Srath-chonuinn.  I  should  suggest  that  Conon 
represents  a  primitive  Conona  ;  -ona  is  a  good 
Gaulish  river  termination,  and  Endlicher's  glossary 
(in  a  9th  century  MS.)  actually  explains  onno  as 
Jlumen,  river.  For  con  we  have  three  choices — 
con,  together ;  con  from  Gaulish  kunos,  high ; 
con,  stem  of  cu,  dog,  giving  respectively  joint- 
stream,  high-stream,  dog-stream.  If  we  could  be 
certain  that  onno  was  a  genuine  Gaulish  name, 
and  not  merely  a  termination  raised  to  the 
standing  of  an  independent  word,  it  would  be 
natural  to  render  Conon  as  '  Joint-stream."  This, 
however,  is  uncertain  ;  '  Dog-stream '  is  unob- 
jectionable ;  '  High-stream '  does  not  suit  the 

152        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

physical  requirements.  The  tidal  part  of  the 
Conon  appears  in  the  Dingwall  charters  as 
Stavek,  which  may  be  N.  staf-vik,  staff-bay  ;  cf. 
Stafa,  Staff-river  ;  and  Stafa-holt,  Staffwood,  in 
Iceland ;  Staffa,  the  isle,  is  N.  Staf-ey,  Staff-isle, 
from  the  columnar  formation  of  its  rocks. 
Loch  Beannacharan  —  Kenlochbenquharene  1479, 
Kinlochbanquhare  1538,  Kinlochbeancharan  1571; 
G.  Loch  Beannacharan  ;  'beann,'  a  top,  horn,  peak, 
gives  adjective  '  beannach,'  peaked,  pinnacled ; 
whence  4  beannachar,'  place  of  peaks,  of  which 
c  beannacharan '  is  a  collective  form.  The  classical 
representative  of  '  beannach  '  is  probably  seen  in 
Lake  Benacus,  the  *  horned  lake,'  in  Cisalpine 
Gaul,  now  Lago  di  Garda.  Loch  Beannach, 
horned  loch  (from  the  shape),  is  a  common  High- 
land name.  The  best  known  Beannachar  is 
Bangot*  in  Ireland,  whence  the  Welsh  Bangor. 
Another  well-known  Irish  form  is  Banagher.  A 
locative  formation  from  'beannachar'  is  seen  in 
Banchory  Devenick  and  Banchory  Ternan.  Loch 
Beannacharan,  then  (for  which  the  Ord.  Survey 
Beannachan  is  a  mistake)  means  '  the  loch  of  the 
place  of  the  peaks,'  a  name  appropriate  and 
descriptive.  On  the  north  side  is  Allt  an 
Fhasaidh,  Burn  of  the  dwelling,  O.G.  fasadh,  at 
a  green  place  with  signs  of  old  habitation.  On 
the  south  side  is  Allt  na  Faic\  Burn  of  the  lair  or 
hiding-place,  half-way  up  the  hillside  from  which 
is  Bac  an  Airigh,  doubtful ;  ?  shieling.  At  the 
west  side  is  Cnoc  a'  Mhinistir,  Parson's  Hill,  and 


near  it  a  small  graveyard.  A  large  rock  on  the 
loch  side  is  called  na  Caidhean,  perhaps  from 
caid,  a  rock,  summit  (O'Reilly).  At  the  outlet 
of  the  loch  is 

Camoch — G.  a'  Charnaich,  from  '  earn,'  a  cairn, 
place  of  cairns  ;  to  be  taken  in  connection  with 
Beannachar  as  far  as  meaning  is  concerned. 

Invercoran — Innerquhonray  1479  and  1538,  Inner- 
chonray  1571,  Inverchonran  1633  ;  G.  Inbhir 
chorainn  (o  nasal).  The  '  inver '  is  the  confluence 
of  the  stream  flowing  through  Glencoran  with 
another  small  burn  just  before  it  reaches  the 
Meig.  The  old  form  shows  cn/  which  has  disap- 
peared, but  has  left  its  influence  on  the  nasal  '  o/ 
Goran  is  a  stream  name,  and  its  old  form,  Quhon- 
ray,  or  rather  Conray,  is  paralleled  by  the  stream 
Conrie,  flowing  through  Glenconrie  in  Strathdon, 
Aberdeenshire,  into  the  Don.  Both  are  high-lying 
streams,  which  suggests  the  first  syllable  to  be 
the  Gaulish  '  kunos,'  high  ;  it  can  hardly  be  '  con/ 
together.  The  second  part  may  be  the  root  seen 
in  'drudhadh/  oozing;  cf.  the  stream  Druie  in 
Strathspey ;  Gaulish  Druentia.  This  would  give 
'  con-druent-/  which,  with  assimilation  of  'd'  to 
'  n/  would  become  '  connruent-/  resulting  in  '  cor- 
rainn/  high  oozing  stream.  Opposite  Invercoran, 
on  the  river,  is  Creag  lucliaraidh,  probably  based 
on  iuchair,  fish  spawn,  whence  iucharach,  place  of 

Main  and  Glenmeanie  —  Meyn  in  Strquhonane 
1479,  Innermany  1479  and  1539,  Meyn  in 

154        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

Strachonane  1538,  Maneye  1543,  Mainzie  1633  ; 
Gaelic  Gleann  meinnidh  ;  Leithdach  Meinn  (half 
davach  of  Main) ;  from  *  meinn,'  ore  ;  cf.  Allt  na 
meinn  in  Edderton,  Lub  na  meinn  in  Kincardine. 
The  term  is  applied  usually  where  the  water  is 
marked  by  the  rust  of  oxidized  iron.  Innermany 
is  the  junction  of  the  stream  Meinnidh  flowing 
through  Glenmeanie  with  the  Meig.  Opposite  it> 
and  west  of  Baile  na  Creige,  Rocktown,  is  an 
Annaid,  The  Annat,  or  early  church,  a  triangular 
piece  of  ground. 

Teanacallich — Old  woman's  house. 

CraigdaiTOCh — Oak  rock  ;  there  are  still  oaks. 

Drumandarroch — Oak  ridge. 

Cam  na  buaile — Cairn  of  the  cattle  fold. 

Glascharn — Grey  cairn  ;  common  name. 

Cam  Sgolbaidh  and  Loch  Sgolbaidh— Cairn  and 

loch  of  splinters  ;  showing  old  locative  of  sgolbach. 
Curin — G.  Caoruinn,  place  of  rowans ;  in  Old  Irish 
we   have    Caerthend,    dative    Caerthiund,    from 
which  latter  comes  our  name  Caoruinn. 

Loch  a*  mhuilinn — Loch  of  the  mill. 

Allt  na  Fainich — Burn  of  the  flat  place,  from  fan ; 

also  Poll  na  Fainich,  in  the  river.     O.S.M.  Allt 

tuill  an  fhaire  coise  ! 

Carn  na  cloiche  mor — Cairn  of  the  big  stone. 
Loch  na  larach  blaire — Loch  of  the  white-faced 


Loch  an  uillt  ghiuthais— Loch  of  the  fir  burn. 
Balnault — G.  Bail'  'n  uillt,  Burn-town. 

CONTIN.  155 

Cam  na  h-Annaid — Cairn  of  the  Annat.  Ammt 
has  been  already  explained.  We  have  here  also 
Allt  iia  h-Annaid,  Cladh  na  h-Annaid,  Clach  na 
h-Annaid,  so  that  there  is  strong  place-name 
evidence  of  an  early  Celtic  religious  settlement. 

GlacOlir — G.  a'  Ghlaic  odhar,  dun  hollow  (among 
hills).  There  is  another  Glacour  in  Kilmuir- Easter. 

Achlorachan — From  the  root  seen  in  '  loirean,'  a 
bedraggled  or  bemired  person  ;  '  loireachan  '  thus 
means  a  boggy  or  wet  place,  which  applies 
exactly.  Loireag  means  a  water-sprite. 

Drumanriach— Druimeinn  riabhach,  brindled  Drum- 
mond,  'druimeinn'  being  the  locative  of  'drum,' 

Cnaigean  na  leathrach — Leather  knoll ;  a  knoll 
east  of  the  bridge  over  the  Meig,  not  far  from  the 
U.F.  Church  of  Strathconon.  When  the  river  is 
high,  this  knoll  is  surrounded  by  water,  and  it 
was  used  of  old  in  connection  with  the  process  of 
tanning  leather. 

Dalnacroich — Hanging  or  gallows  plain.  There  is 
also  a  hillock  called  Cnoc  na  croiche,  where  male- 
factors are  supposed  to  have  been  buried. 

Cnoc  na  h-uige — Hill  of  the  recess,  or  retired 

Cnoc  na  carrachan — Hill  of  wild  liquorice. 

Porin — G.  Porainn.  This  is  one  of  the  best  pre- 
served examples  in  Scotland  of  the  Pictish  word 
so  common  in  the  aspirated  form — 'four,'  e.g., 
Pit-four,  Doch-four.  The  root  is  that  seen  in  the 
Welsh  '  pori,'  to  graze,  eat ;  and  '  poriant,' 

156         PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

pasture.  The  Strath  conon  Porin  is  a  flat  piece  of 
land  by  the  river  side.  Cladh  Phorainn,  Porin 
graveyard,  was  formerly  Cladh  Meinn,  Main 
graveyard,  and  one  good  authority  says  that 
he  has  heard  it  called  Cladh  Ceann-loch- 
Beannacharan,  but  this  is  probably  a  contusion 
with  the  graveyard  at  the  west  end  of  that  loch, 
noted  above. 

Milltown — G.  Bail'  a'  mhuilinn  ;  close  by  is  Allt  a' 
mhuilinn,  Mill-burn. 

Dalbreac— Speckled  dale. 

Crannich  —  G.  a'  Chrannaich,  place  of  trees ;. 

Blarnabee — G.  Blar  na  bith  ;  '  bith  '  means  resin, 
pitch ;  the  name  having  doubtless  arisen  from  the 
presence  of  fat  fir-wood  in  olden  times,  either  as 
growing  trees,  or  more  probably  as  '  stocks  '  in  the 

Allt  a*  choir'  aluinn — Burn  of  the  beautiful  corry. 

Cam  Uilleim — William's  cairn ;  Loch  Gruamach, 
gloomy  loch  ;  Creag  ghaineamhach,  sandy  rock  ; 
Loch  an  spardain,  from  '  spardan,'  a  roost,  but 
also,  metaphorically,  a  level  shelf  or  resting-place 
in  a  hill-side ;  cf.  suidhe  in  this  sense ;  Meall 
Giuthais,  Fir-hill ;  Corry  sleuch  and  Allt  coire  na 
sleaghaich,  cf.  Slioch,  Gairloch. 

Scardroy — G.  Sgard-ruaidh.  '  Sgard/  a  scree,  is 
in  common  use,  as  is  also  its  diminutive 
sgardan.  Scardroy  means  '  red  scree/  Popular 
etymology  has  explained  it  from  a  circumstance 
connected  with  the  over-driving  of  cattle  by 

CONTIN.  157 

Lochaber  raiders,  who  had  lifted  a  '  creach '  from 
the  Strathconon  direction,  and  were  being  hotly 
pursued.      The    tale     appears    in     Mr     Dixon's 
"  Gairloch." 
Corriewick— G.  Coir'  a'  bhuic,  buck's  corry. 

Glenuag,    Gleniak,   or    Glenevaig — Gleneak    (in 

Kintail)  1542  ;  G.  Gleann  fhiodhaig,  glen  of 
the  bird  cherry  tree.  Cf.  Loch  fhiodhaig  in 

Meig — The  Meig  is  the  river  of  Strathconon.  Its 
source  is  at  the  head  of  Gleniak,  and,  after  a 
course  of  about  ten  miles,  it  widens  out  into 
Loch  Beannacharan.  After  the  junction  with 
the  stream  from  Loch  Luichart,  it  is  merged  in 
the  Conon.  The  Gaelic  is  Mig  (i  long  and  nasal). 
The  long  vowel  before  '  g '  points  to  compensatory 
lengthening  from  the  dropping  of  an  original  '  n,' 
while  the  'g'  itself  is  reduced  from  an  original  *c.' 
This  gives  a  primitive  '  mine,'  with  which  we  may 
compare  the  Mincius,  the  stream  of  Cisalpine  Gaul 
which  flows  by  Virgil's  birth-place,  Mantus.  It  is 
a  curious  coincidence  that  our  Meig  flows  through 
Loch  Beannacharan,  while  the  Mincius  comes  from 
the  lake  Benacus.  The  root  I  take  to  be  that  seen 
in  Latin  mingo,  mic-turio  ;  Old  English  migan  ; 
Lithuanian  migla,  mist ;  Welsh,  migen,  a  bog ; 
the  root  in  all  cases  being  '  mic-,'  and  the  notion 
involved,  that  of  'pouring  forth.'  Cf.  the  Fife 
Strathmiglo,  with  its  river,  the  Miglo,  knoAvn  also 
as  the  Eden ;  perhaps  also  Loch  Meiklie  in  Glen- 
Urquhart,  G.  Loch  Miachdlaidh  ;  Meigle  in 

158         PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND    CROMAETY. 

Perthshire,  which  appears  in  the   legend  of  St 
Andrew  as  Migdele  ;  and  Maikle. 

Sron  na  Frianaich — Frianach  occurs  in  Loch  na 

Frianaich,  far  up  the  B.  Orrin,  and  in  several 

other    places ;    meaning    doubtful,    but    it    may 

possibly  be  friamhnach,  place  of  roots.     (In  Ross 

freumh  is,  of  course,  pronounced  friamh). 

Maoil  Lunndaidh  (3294) — '  Maoil '  as  a  hill  name 
is   common,    and    is    to    be    compared    with    G. 
maol,  bald,   and  Welsh  moel,  a  conical   hill.     It 
is  applied  to  bare,  rounded  hills.     Lunndaidh  is 
Englished  Lundy,  a  name  of  very  frequent  occur- 
rence, always  in  connection   with   lochs  or  bogs. 
We  have  lochs  of  this  name  in  Lochalsh,  Apple- 
cross,  Knockbain,  Golspie,  near  Invergarry,  and 
in   Forfarshire.       There   is    also    Luiidin    in   the 
parish  of  Largo,  Fife,  but  these  are  sufficient  to 
show  the  frequency  and  area  of  its  occurrence. 
In  certain    parts    there    may    still    be   heard    in 
common    speech    the    word    '  lunndan,'    meaning 
a    green     spot,     but     apparently      primarily     a 
green    wet   place.1      From    all    this    it    is   clear 
that   Lunndaidh  or   Lundy   means  a  wet  place, 
a   boggy    loch    or    stream.       As    to    derivation, 
it  may  be  regarded  as  a  nasalised  form  of  '  lod,'  a 
puddle,  the  root  of  which  is  seen  in  Latin  lutum, 
mud.       Hence,    most    probably,    London,    Latin 
Londinium ;     and     we     may     compare     Lutetia 
Parisiorum,  the  muddy  town  of  the  Parisii,  now 

1  For  this,  as  for  much  more  information,  I  am  indebted  to  the  Rev. 
Charles  M.  Robertson. 


Paris,  if,  indeed,  the  reading  Lutetia  can  be 
accepted  as  correct.  South  of  Maoil  Lunndaidh  is 

Maoil  ChoinnPmas — Candlemas  Bare-hill,  a  very 
curious  term. 

Sgurr  nan  Conbhair  —  Conbhair  (1)  dog-kennel 
(H.S.  Diet.);  (2)  greedy  person  (E.  Eoss) ; 
(3)  clog-man,  attendant  on  dogs  (W.  Eoss).  '  Peak 
of  the  dog-men '  is  most  likely  to  be  the  meaning 
here.  There  are  legends  of  Fingalian  hunters 

Sgurr  a'  Chaoruinn  (3452  ft.)—'  Sgurr '  is  locative 

of  '  sgor,'  a  sharp  rock,  and  is  applied  to  sharp- 
pointed  rocky  hills.  '  Rowan  Peak,' 

Sgurr  nan  ceannaichean — Merchants'  Peak.    I  do 

not  know  the  legend  annexed,  if  there  is  one. 
Cam  Eiteige — Quartz  Cairn. 

An  Crom-allt— The  bent  burn  at  head  of  Gleniak. 
Loch  Coireag  na'  mang— Loch  of  the  little  corry  of 

the  fawns. 

Cnoc  an  t-Sithein — Hill  of  the  sithean,  or  small 
fairy  mound. 

Cam  Mhartuinn,  Loch  Carn  Mhartuinn,  and 
Allt  Carn  Mhartuinn  —  Cairn,  loch,  burn  of 

Leanaidh — Locative   of  leanach,   based  on  lean,   a 

swampy  plain. 
Cam    Chaoruinn— RoAvan    cairn  ;    Allt    na  criche, 

Boundary  burn. 
Camasie  —  G.    Camaisidh,    a    stream    name,    also 

applied  to  the   sheep    farm  ;    from    '  cam/   bent. 

160        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

The   stream    is   very   winding.      Cf.    for   ending 

Lienassie,  and  for  meaning  Crombie. 
Caiseachan — Apparently  a  collective  from  'caiseach,' 

abounding  in  cheese,   a  reminiscence  of  shieling 

Carn  na  Feith-rabhain — Rabhan  is  said  to  mean 

refuse  left  by  the  tide  or  by  a  stream  in  flood  ;  cf. 

Bad-a-rabhain,  Dunrobin  Glen. 
Badanluchie  —  G.     Bad-a-fhliuchaidh,    clump     of 

Achanalt— Auchnanald  1682  ;  G.  Ach'-an-allt,  Field 

of  the  burns. 

Sgurr  a'  ghlas-ieathaid — Peak  of  the  grey  hill-side. 
Sgiirr  a*  mhuiliim— Mill-peak. 

Sgurr  ronnaich — 'Ronnach,'  of  which  'ronnaich' 
is  locative,  means  '  abounding  in  saliva.'  There  is 
a  cliff  over  which  there  is  a  continual  drip  of 

Loch  Rosque  —  G.  Loch  'Chroisg,  loch  of  the 
crossing ;  from  '  crasg/  a  crossing.  The  crossing 
referred  to  is  that  from  Kiiilochewe  through  Glen 
Docharty,  and  so  on  to  the  low  lands.  Around 
Loch  Rosque  are  the  three  following  : — 

Bad  a'  mhanaich— Monk's  clump  ;  not  so  strange  a 
situation  for  a  church-name  when  it  is  considered 
that  it  lay  in  the  regular  track  from  Kinlochewe 
to  the  east. 

— Locative  of  lub,  a  bend, '  loop ';  distinguished 
also  as  Lub  a'  Ghargain,  bend  of  the  rough  place. 
The  old  inn  of  Luib  was  once  a  welcome  stage 

CONTIN.  161 

between  Achnasheen  and  Kinlochewe,  and  thus 
appears  in  song  :— 

'S  e  tigh-osda  Chailein 
Dh'  fhag  mo  phocaid  falamh  ; 
'S  ioma  stop  is  glainne 
'Chuir  ini  'n  tarruing  awn. 

Leanach — Place  of  swamp  meadows,  on  the  south 

side  of  the  loch. 
Loch  Crann,   tree  loch  ;  Lochan   Sgeireach,  skerry 

Allt  Ducharaidh — Cf.    Cnoc   Ducharaidh,   Alness, 

locative    of    dubh-chath'rach,    a    place    of    black 

broken  ground. 

An  Cabar — The  antler. 

LedgOWan — Leathad    'ghobhainn,    hillside    of    the 

smith  ;  also  Loch  Gowan. 
Dosmuckaran — G.    Dos-mhucarain,    clump   of  the 

place  of  swine  :  mucaran  is  from  mucar,  place  of 

swine ;  cf.  Crochar,  Beannachar. 
Achnasheen — Auchownosein  1633  ;  G.  Ach-iia-sin', 

field  of  storm  ;  sian,  stormy  weather,  gen.  sine. 
Garve — G.   Gairbh,   rough  (place);    cf.    E.   Garry; 

probably  here  also  a  river  name,  since  we  have 

Strathgarve.     The  river  is  now  the  Black  water. 

The  N.  Stat.  Ace.  says  it  was  known  as  the  Rasay, 

but  if  that  was  so,  the  name  has  completely  gone. 

Yet  the  Life   of  St    Cadroe  mentions  tbe   river 

Rosis  in  these  parts,  and  it  might  well  be  Norse 

hross-a,  horse-river. 



Garbat — Garrowbat  1633;  rough  clump  —  garbh 

Gorstan  of  Garve — G.  Goirtean  Gairbh,  or  simply 
'  an  Goirtean,'  the  small  corn-enclosure,  from 
'  gort,'  cognate  with  '  garth,'  garden,  hortus. 
The  old  '  in-town '  of  Garve. 

Loch  Garve — In  G.  Loch  Maol-Fhinn,  Loch  of  the 
shaveling  or  follower  of  St  Fionn,  to  be  connected 
with  Killin,  G.  Cill-Fhinn,  at  the  west  end  of  the 
loch.  Taken  together  these  names  are  conclusive 
as  to  the  existence  of  a  saint  named  Fionn,  to 
whom  the  Garve  Killin,  and  probably  other  places 
of  the  same  name,  were  dedicated.  "  Cill-Fhinn 
's  Cill-duinn,  's  Cill-Donnain,  na  tri  cilltean  is  sine 
an  Albainn";  Killin,  Kildun,  and  Kildonan,  the 
three  oldest  churches  in  Alba. 

Dirriemore — G.  An  Diridh  mbr,  '  the  great  ascent' ; 
the  highest  part  of  the  road  between  Garve  and 
Ullapool.  Strath  Terry,  Straintirie  1635  ;  G. 
Srath  an  Diridh,  Strath  of  the  ascent. 

Tarvie— G.  Tairbhidh,  from  '  tarbh,'  bull ;  '  place  of 
bulls.'  Of.  Tarvie  and  Tarvie  Burn  in  Glen 
Brerachan  ;  Tarvie  Burn  in  Banff ;  Tarves,  Aber- 
deenshire.  Here  may  be  noted  the  local  saw  : 
daoine  beaga  Roagaidh,  's  crogaicheaii  Thairbh- 
idh,  buic  Srath-Ghairbh,  meanbhlach  Srath- 
bhrainn,  fithich  dhubh  Loch-Carrainn,  's 
clarnhanan  Loch  Bhraoin  ;  the  little  men  of 
Eogie,  the  crogs  (i.e.,  worn-out  sheep)  of  Tarvie  ; 
the  bucks  of  Strathgarve  ;  the  slender  folk  of 
Strathbran  ;  the  black  ravens  of  Lochcarron,  and 


the  kites  of  Lochbroom  :  names  descriptive  of  the 
people  of  these  districts. 

Loch  na  crdic — Antler  loch ;  it  is  shaped  like  the 
tine  of  an  antler. 

Achnaclerach.  on  the  road  from  Garve  to  Ullapool, 
Clerics'  field,  probably  identical  with  Auchina- 
glerach  1479  ;  to  be  connected  with  Killin. 

Loch  an  Droma — Ridge-loch,  between  Loch  Garve 
and  Loch  Achilty. 

Am  Fireach — '  Fireach '  is  a  mountain  acclivity  or 
hill  ground  ;  '  fireach  an  f  heidh,'  hill  of  the  deer. 
This  is  the  mountain-side  along  the  left  bank  of 
the  stream  from  Loch  Luichart. 

Glenmarksie — G.  Gleann-marcasaidh  ;  there  are 
also  Sgurr  Marcasaidh  and  Sail  Marcasaidh,  Peak 
of  Marxie  and  Heel  of  Marxie.  Marcasaidh  is 
based  on  marc,  horse ;  cf.  Rosemarky ;  -asaidh  is 
difficult.  It  may  be  regarded  as  a  double  exten- 
sion of  the  root,  and  compared  with  Lienassie, 
G.  Lianisidh,  and  Livisie,  G.  Libhisidh,  Glen- 
Urquhart,  but  might  here  be  the  locative  of  fasadh, 
dwelling  ;  marc-fhasaidh,  horse-stead.  As  coupled 
with  glen,  we  should  expect  it  to  be  a  stream 
name,  but  Sail  Marcasaidh  and  Sgurr  Marcasaidh 
rather  point  to  its  being  primarily  here  the  name 
of  a  place. 

Some  easy  names  follow  : — Strone,  near  Loch 
Achilty ;  Altnabreac,  trout-burn ;  Loch  an  eich 
bhain,  Grey-horse  loch ;  Loch  a'  chlarain,  Loch  of 
the  small  flat  place  ;  Loch  ruigh  a'  phuill,  Loch  of 
the  marshy  stretch ;  Creag  a'  chaoruinn,  Rowan 


rock  ;  Cadha  fliuch,  wet  pass  ;  Loch  nan  eilid, 
hinds'  loch ;  Loch  na'  sgarbh,  cormorant  loch  ; 
Loch  a'  chairn  dhuibh,  black-cairn  loch  ;  Loch  a' 
bhealaich  (thrice),  Loch  of  the  gap  ;  Loch  nan 
dearcag,  berry  loch  ;  Loch  a'  choire  le*ith,  grey 
corry  loch  ;  Loch  Bhaid  ghaineamhaich,  sandy- 
clump  loch  ;  Loch  a'  Chuilinn,  Holly  loch  ; 
Dubhchlais,  black  hollow  ;  Loch  an  alltain 
bheithe,  Loch  of  the  birch  burnlet ;  Carn  iia  Ore, 
Clay  cairn. 

Lochluichart — Locative  case  of  'longphort,'  an 
encampment,  or  simply  shieling,  in  which  sense 
it  is  used  here.  Longphort  is  primarily  a  harbour, 
from  '  long,'  ship,  and  '  port,'  harbour,  but  passes 
into  other  derivative  meanings.  From  it  come 
'luchairt,'  palace;  and  the  place-names,  Camus- 
loncart  on  Loch  Long,  bay  of  the  encampment ; 
Lungard  and  Loch  Lungard  in  Kintail ;  Luncarty. 

Ardachulish — G.  Aird'  a'  chaolais,  Height  of  the 
Kyles,  or  narrows,  where  Loch  Luichart  contracts 
at  its  lower  end. 

CnOC  na  h-iolaire — Eagle  hill,  on  north-east  side  of 
Loch  Luichart. 

Corriemuillie — Mill-corry  ;  G.  Coire  mhuillidh,  v. 
Corriemulzie  in  Kincardine. 

Dorrygorrie — Doire  Goraidh,  Godfrey's  grove  ; 
Gorry,  from  God  frid,  God's  peace,  was  a 
favourite  name  among  the  Macdonalds  (Mac- 

Strathvaich— Strathwaith  1635;  from  '  bathach/ 
cow-house,  a  frequent  element  in  place-names. 

CONTEST.  165 

Lubfearn — Alder  bend,  or  angle. 

Druimbuidhe — Yellow  ridge  ;  Lubriach,  brindled 
bend  ;  Sr6n  gorm,  green  point ;  Meall  an  torcain, 
hill  of  the  young  boar ;  Drumanguish,  fir-ridge  ; 
Tomban,  white  hillock  ;  Coire  nan  laogh,  Calves' 
corry ;  Meallan  donn,  brown  hillock ;  Coir'  a 
ghrianain,  corry  of  the  sunny  hillock  ;  Allt  coir 
a'  chliabhain,  Corry  of  the  little  creel  ;  Meall  na 
glaic  baine,  hill  of  the  pale  hollow  ;  Allt  beithe, 
birch  burn  ;  Allt  a'  ghlastuill  mh6ir,  burn  of  the 
great  green  hollow  ;  Creag  Rainich,  bracken  rock ; 
Creag  mholach,  shaggy  rock ;  Cam  gormloch, 
green-loch  cairn  ;  Creag  chlachach,  stony  rock ; 
Toll-milic,  sow  hollow  ;  Clach  sgoilte,  split  stone 
(at  the  meeting  point  of  three  estates) ;  Glenbeg, 
small  glen. 

Kirkan — G.  na  Cearcan,  the  hens  ;  there  are 
numerous  boulders,  whence  apparently  the  name. 

Glascarnoch  —  G.  Clais-chkroaich,  cleft  of  the 
Carnach,  or  stony  place. 

Aultguish — G.  an  t-Allt  giuthais,  Fir  burn. 

Meall  Mhic  lomhair — Maciver's  Hill. 

Sbrathbran  and  Eiver  Bran — 'Bran'  is  an  obsolete 
word  meaning  raven.  As  applied  to  a  river,  the 
reference  is  not  very  clear,  but  it  may  have  been 
given  simply  from  ravens  having  haunted  some 
parts  of  it.  It  is  possible  to  suppose  the  name 
to  have  been  given  from  the  black  colour  of  the 
water ;  most  probably,  however,  there  is  a 
mythological  reference.  The  Hoss-shire  Bran 
must  be  carefully  distinguished  from  the  Perth- 
shire Bran,  the  Gaelic  of  which  is  Breamhainn. 

166        PLACE-NAMES    OF   KOSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

Loch  Fannich — G.  Loch  Fainich.  In  spite  of  its 
Gaelic  ring,  Fanaich  is  rather  an  obscure  and 
difficult  word.  Assuming  that  the  'f  is  radical 
and  does  not  represent  an  aspirated  '  p,'  we  may 
compare  with  Welsh  '  gwaneg,'  a  surge,  '  gwan- 
egu,'  to  rise  in  waves,  Welsh  *  gw '  corresponding 
to  Gaelic  '  f,'  as  in  W.  gwern,  G.  fearn,  alder. 
Another  step  backward  would  lead  us  to  an  early 
Celtic  'van-'  or  'ven-,'  which  suggests  a  com- 
parison with  the  Gaulish  Lacus  Ven-etus,  now 
Lake  of  Constance,  and  the  two  Gaulish  tribes  of 
Veneti,  both  maritime.  But  the  name  is  one  on 
which  it  is  unsafe  to  be  positive.  In  point  of  fact, 
when  stormy  winds  from  Strathcromble  and  from 
Cabuie  meet  at  the  nose  of  Beinn  Hamh,  the 
effect  on  the  loch  is  said  to  be  tremendous. 

Grudie,  G.  Gruididh,  is  the  river  from  Loch  Fannich 
falling  into  the  Bran  half-way  between  Loch-a- 
Chuilinn  and  Loch  Luichart.  There  is  an  Allt 
Gruididh  on  the  south  side  of  Loch  Maree,  and  an 
Abhainn  Gruididh  in  Durness,  Sutherland,  also 
Gruids,  near  Lairg,  so  named  from  Allt  Gruididh 
from  Loch  na  Caillich  and  Lochan  na  fuaralaich 
which  flows  at  the  back  of  it.  I  am  not  aware  of 
any  to  be  found  further  south,  but  the  examples 
given  above  go  to  show  that  we  are  dealing  with 
a  river-name.  The  root  is  most  likely  '  ghru,' 
gritty,  which  is  at  the  bottom  of  such  words  as 
*  grothlach,'  a  gravel  pit ;  '  grudair,'  a  brewer  ; 
'  gruid,'  lees  ;  '  gruthan/  the  liver  ;  allied  with 
Eng.  grit,  Welsh  grut,  grit  or  fossil.  The  notion 

CONTIN.  167 

involved  may  be  either  '  gravelly,'  or  '  full  of 
sediment.'  Near  the  end  of  the  wood  on  the 
Fannich  road  is  Leum  Ruaraidh,  Rorie's  leap, 
close  to  a  fine  fall  on  the  river.  Further  up  is 
an  t-Eilean  Critkinn,  aspen  isle,  in  the  river,  with 
many  aspen  trees. 

Eiginn — The  Hill  Difficulty,  a  hill  with  bare  ribs  of 
rock  at  the  north-east  end  of  Loch  Fannich. 
Near  its  west  end  is  Beinn  Ramh,  hill  of  oars  or 
of  rowing  ;  it  is  at  a  very  stormy  part  of  the  loch. 

An  t-Alltan  Mailis — The  sweet  burn,  at  Eiginn ; 
its  water  is  good  ;  mailis  is  a  variant  of  meilis,  the 
usual  Ross  form  of  milis,  sweet. 

Aultdearg— G.  an  t-Allt  Dearg,  Eedburn  ;  on  the 
way  to  Fannich. 

Aultchonier— G.  Allt  a'  Choin  uidhir,  burn  of  the 
dun  dog,  i.e.,  the  otter  ;  Otterburn. 

Nedd— G.  an  Nead,  the  nest;  the  finest  of  the 
magnificent  corries  of  Fannich  forest.1  In  it  is 
Comunn  nan  Caochan,  meeting  of  the  streamlets, 
a  point  where  five  small  burns  meet.  Other  cor- 
ries are  an  Coire  MOT,  the  big  corry,  with  Cadti 
a'  Bhoicionn,  Path  of  the  goat-skin,  at  its  upper 
end  at  the  west ;  an  Coire  Riabhach,  the  brindled 
corry  ;  an  Coire  Beag,  the  little  corry,  with,  at 
its  top,  Coire  nam  Hang,  Fawns'  Corry.  At  the 
east  side  of  Coire  Beag  is  Gob  a'  Chiiirn,  Beak 

1  In  1542  appear  "the  waste  lands  of  lie  Ned,  between  Lochboyne  on  the 
north.  Lochtresk  on  the  south,  lie  Ballach  on  the  west  an  1  Dawelach  on  the 
east."  Lochboyne  is  either  Lochivraoin  (Lochaidh  Bhraoin)  or  Loch  Broom  ; 
Lochtresk  (1  Loch-cresk)  is  Loch  Chroisg  ;  which  Bealacli  or  Gap  is  referred  to 
as  the  western  boundary,  is  hard  to  say.  Dawelach  I  c.nn  ;t  identify. 

168         PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

of  the  Cairn,  a  remarkable  projecting  mass,  with 
broad  top  almost  perfectly  flat  and  grassy. 

Meall  nam  Peithirean — Lump  (i.e.  shapeless  hill) 
of  the  foresters ;  origin  unknown  ;  also  Cadti  a 
Bhaillidli,  the  bailiff's  path  ;  both  behind  Fannich 

Sghrr  nan  Clach — Stony  skerry ;  on  its  side,  very 
high  up,  is  eigintoll,  difficulty  hole,  a  small  corry 
dangerous  and  difficult  of  access. 

SgUIT  M6r  3637 — Great  skerry  ;  a  peak  from  which 
on  a  clear  day  may  be  seen  practically  all  Scotland 
north  of  the  Grampians. 

Fuartholl  Mor  and  Fuartholl  Beag — Little  and  big 
cold-hole  ;  wild  corries  adjacent  to  each  other. 

Loch  Ligh — Spate  loch ;  above  it  is  Toll  Ligh, 
spate-hole,  a  deep  and  narrow  corry  ;  from  it 
goes  Allt  Gus-ligh,  probably  for  Giuthais,  fir- wood 
of  Li. 

A'  Bhiacaich — The  place  of  bellowing ;  also  Cadka 
na  Biacaich,  path  of  the  same ;  a  place  where 
stags  roar. 

An  Coileachan  3015 — 'The  cockerel';  the  applica- 
tion is  difficult,  but  we  say  '  tha  an  coileachan  air 
siubhal  an  diugh  '  of  a  fall  when  spray  is  seen 
rising  off  it ;  '  tha  coileachan  math  air  a'  ghaoith  ' 
of  a  gale ;  '  tha  coileachan  air  an  loch  '  of  waves. 
On  the  other  hand  the  name  may  mean  literally 
'  Place  of  grouse  cocks,'  which  is  the  accepted 
meaning  of  Kyllachy,  G.  Coileachai(bh). 

Meallan  Rairigidh— (O.S.M.)  Is  not  known  in 


Cabuie— G.  an  Cadha  Buidhe,  the  yellow  path. 
Behind  Cabuie  Lodge  is  an  Sgaoman,  the  stack, 
from  its  sharp  conical  shape. 

Strathcromble — G.  Srath  chrombail,  '  winding 
strath/  '  Crorn,'  bent,  here  develops  a  '  b'  before 
the  suffix,  as  it  does  in  Aber-crombie,  Dalcrombie. 
Similarly  from  '  lorn '  we  get  Innis-lombaidh 
(Bosskeen),  and  '  lombar,'  a  bare  place.  The  last 
example  suggests  that  the  form  '  crombail'  may 
have  arisen  by  dissimilation  from  '  crombair/ 
parallel  to  '  lombar/  The  Gaelic  for  Grantown- 
on-Spey  is  the  same. 

Loch  Droma — Ridge  Loch  ;  the  ridge  on  which  it 
lies  is  the  great  ridge  of  Drumalban,  which  forms 
the  natural  division  between  the  east  and  west  of 
Scotland,  running  from  Argyllshire  northwards. 

Loch  a'  Gharbharain— Loch  of  the  rough  place,  is 
the  first  of  a  series  of  five  lochlets,  connected  by 
a  stream  running  almost  due  south.  Into  this, 
the  largest  of  the  five,  flows  also  Allt  Mhucarnaich, 
Burn  of  the  place  of  swine. 

Loch  Coire  Lair,  north  of  the  last  mentioned  loch. 
Into  it  flows  Allt  Lair.  Here  lar  is  used  in  the 
sense  of  *  low  place,'  or  '  place  at  the  foot"  ;  e.g.,  lar 
a'  ghlinn,  lower  part  of  the  glen  ;  cf.  Lair,  Loch- 

Loch  na  Still— Loch  of  the  Spout ;  from  '  steall,'  a 
spout  of  water,  or  long  narrow  strip  of  anything, 
e.g.,  grass,  ribbons. 

Loch  Prille,  a  curious  word,  suggesting  comparison 
with  Welsh  prill,  a  little  brook  or  rill ;  cf.  Lacus 
Prilius  in  Etruria. 


Loch  Tuath — North  Loch  ;  the  most  northerly  of 
five  small  lochs. 

Seann  Bhraigh* — Old  upland. 

Fionn  Bheinn  (3060)— White  Hill,  south-west  of 
Loch  Fannich. 

Airiecheirie  and  Allt  Airiecheiridh— G.  Airigh- 
cheiridh,  waxen  shieling,  from  ceireach,  waxen. 
The  local  explanation,  which  seems  sensible 
enough,  is  that  in  summer,  in  walking  through 
the  grass,  one's  boots  get  a  yellow  waxen  coating, 
testifying,  as  was  thought,  to  the  excellence  of 
the  pasture. 



Glenshiel— Glenselle  1509,  Innerselle  1571,  Glen- 
schall  1574 ;  G.  Gleann-seile,  named,  as  usual, 
after  its  river,  Abhainn  Seile.  The  Moidart  Shiel, 
which  is  the  same  word,  appears  in  Adamnan's  Life 
of  Columba  as  Sale,  and  again  in  the  Dean  of 
Lismore's  Book  as  '  selli.'  The  root  is  '  sal-,' 
flow  ;  cf.  '  seile,'  saliva  ;  '  sil,'  to  drop  ;  '  seileach,' 
willow  ;  and  the  Continental  rivers  Sala.  Shiel 
is  doubtless  a  Pictish  word. 

Morvich — G.  A  mhor'oich  (mormhoich),  the  sea 
plain  (Ir.  '  mur-magh ') ;  a  very  common  name. 
Cf.  a  Mhor'oich,  the  Gaelic  of  Lovat ;  the  Mor- 
richmore  at  Tain ;  Mor'oich  Cinn-deis,  the  Carse 
of  Bayfield.  In  Badenoch  there  is  a  moor  called 
'  a  Mhor'oich,'  an  instance  of  its  use  away  from 
the  sea. 

Eilean  nan  Gall — Lowlanders'  isle. 

Uchd  an  t-sabliail— Barn-knoll. 

Achadh-ghiiirain  —  Auchewrane  1543,  field  of 
giuran.  The  '  giiiran '  is  a  tall  umbelliferous 
plant  closely  resembling  the  wild  hemlock,  and 
of  the  same  family.  It  grows  plentifully  here, 
and  in  E.  Ross.  O.S.M.,  Achadhinrain. 

Torrluinnsich— Torlouisichtl543,Torloiford(Blaeu), 
lounging  knoll,  from  'luinnse,'  a  loafer,  which  comes 
from  the  obsolete  English  word  '  lungis,'  lounger. 

172         PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

The  natives  say  that  it  is  a  knoll  where  lazy  people 
used  to  lie  to  the  sun ;  and  it  is  very  suitable  for 
the  purpose.  O.S.M.,  Torrlaoighseach. 

Ach-nan-gart  —  Achnangart,  Auchnagart  1543, 
Achengart  (Blaeu),  field  of  the  corn  enclosures. 

Rktagan  and  Bealach  Ratagain— The  Rateganis 
1543.  A  diminutive  of  Ratag,  which  again  is 
diminutive  of  Rat,  i.e.,  '  rath/  with  excrescent 
or  strengthening  '  t.J  In  Badenoch  we  have 
Raitts,  G.  Rat.  The  Irish  '  rath  '  was  a  fortified 
enclosure,  usually  circular  ;  of  Maileagan,  below. 
Along  the  south  side  of  Loch  Duich  we  have 

Cill-Chaointeort  —  To  be  identified  with  Kil- 
kinterne  1543,  Kentigerna's  cell.  Kentigerna  is 
in  Irish  '  Caintigerna/  kind  lady  (Cain,  G.  caoin), 
and  the  slight  corruption  at  the  end  of  the 
Gaelic  form,  Cill-chaointeort,  is  due  to  the  strong 
accent  on  '  chaoin,'  which  caused  the  final  part  of 
the  compound  to  be  pronounced  indistinctly. 
There  is  an  old  burying-ground  here,  now  disused. 
The  last  burial  took  place  some  thirty  years  ago. 

Eaglais  Riabhachain  —  Church  of  the  brindled 
place,  is  the  parish  church  of  Glenshiel,  just  west 
of  the  last-named. 

Saraig — Norse  Saur-vik,  muddy  bay. 

Leacachan — Lakachane  1543,  place  of  flagstones. 

Letterfearn — Alder  slope. 

Ach  na  Taghart — Achniterd  in  rental  of  1727  ; 
diificult ;  taghart  may  be  for  '  taobh-ghart,'  side- 
corn  field,  which  suits  the  place  ;  '  Field  of  the 


Druideig — The  little  shut-in  place  ;    G.  druid,  to 

Totaig — G.  an  Tobhtaig  ;  also  Coille  na  tobhtaig  ; 

tobhta  means  the  remains  of  a  ruined  house. 
Aoinidh — Eunich    (Blaeu),    the   steep   place ;    also 

Aoineadh,  which  is  nom.  or  ace.  case. 
Ard  an  t-sabhail — Barn  promontory. 
Camus  nan  gall — Lowlanders'  bay. 
An  Garbhan  Cosach — The  little  rough  place  of 

caves  or  fissures. 

The  "  five  sisters  "  at  the  head  of  Loch  Duich 

are  given  on  the  ground  as— 
Sgurr    na    mor'oich   (2870)    (O.S.M.,  Sgurr   na 

moraich) — Peak  of  Morvich. 
Sgurr  nan  saighead  (2750) — Arrow  peak. 
Sgurr  U(dh)ran   (3505)—?  Oran's  peak  ;  Gran,  G. 

Odhran,    from    '  odhar,    dun,    is    in  the  Dean  of 

Lismore's     Book    written    phonetically    '  ooran.3 

Equally  possible,  however,  is  odharan,  the  plant 

cow-parsnip.     The  G.S.M.  has  Sgurr  Fhuaran,  as 

if  Well-peak,  but  the  local  pronunciation  is  quite 

against  this. 
Sgurr  nan  carnach— Peak  of  the  stony  places,  or 

place  of  cairns  ;  not  on  O.S.M. 
Sgurr  nan  cisteachan  dubh  (3370)— Peak  of  the 

black  kists.     Under  it,  but  not  marked  in  G.S.M., 

Sgurr   na'  Spairmteach — Peak  of  the   Spaniards, 

just   above   the  site  of  the  battle  of  Glenshiel, 


Beinn  Fhada  (3383),  best  known  as  Ben  Attow, 
the  long  hill. 

Sgiirr  a'  bhealaich  dheirg  (3378)— Peak  of  the  red 


Cam  na  Fuaralaich  (3378)— Cairn  of  the  cold 
place  ;  cf.  Lochan  na  fuaralaich,  Rosehall,  Suther- 

A*  Chraileag  (3673)  (O.S.M.,  Garbh-leac),  appears 
to  be  a  variant  of '  cr6ileag,'  a  circular  place. 

Sgiirr  nan  conbhairean  (3634) — Peak  of  the  dog- 
men  ;  i.e.,  attendants  of  hunters  ;  this  is  the  local 
explanation,  which  seems  right.  It  may,  how- 
ever, mean  :  Peak  of  the  dog-kennels,'  in  allusion 
to  some  feature  known  to  hunters. 

Cam  Ghluasaid  (3000) — Cairri  of  moving — from 
its  screes. 

Druim  nan  cnaimh — Hill  of  bones. 

Na  Paiteachan — The  humps,  on  Loch  Loyne. 

Creag  a*  mhaim  (3103) — Breast  rock. 

Aonadh  air  Chrith  (3342) — Shaking  precipice ; 
'airson  gu  bheil  e  cho  biorach,'  because  it  is  so 
sharp-pointed  and  dangerous  a  ridge. 

Maol  cheann-dearg  (3214)  --Red-headed  brow 
(accent  on  'cheann'). 

Sgurr  COire  na  F6inne — Peak  of  the  Fenians'  corry. 

Sgiirr  an  lochain  (3282) — Peak  of  the  lochlet. 

Sgurr  beag  (2750) — Small  peak  ;  Creag  nan  damh 
(3012),  stag  rock ;  Sgurr  a  Bhac  Caolas,  not 
known  in  Glenshiel ;  Sgurr  na  sgine  (3098), 
knife  peak,  from  its  sharpness  ;  An  Diollaid 
(3317),  the  saddle  ;  Sgurr  na  creige  (3082),  rock 


peak  ;  Sgurr  leac  nan  each  (3013),  peak  of  the 
flat  rock  of  horses ;  Sgurr  a'  ghairg  gharaidh, 
peak  of  the  rough  den. 

Sgurr  'ic  Mharrais  (O.S.M.,  Sgurr  Mhic  Bharraich), 
appears  to  mean  peak  of  the  son  of  Maurice.  It  is 
near  Shiel  Inn. 

Allt  Undalain  —  Near  Shiel;  probably  a  Norse 
compound  involving  dalr,  ?  with  suffixed  article. 
The  burn  flows  into  the  river  Shiel  through  a 
small  flat.  Opposite  Shiel  Schoolhouse  is  a 
disused  burying-ground,  called  Cill  Fhearcliair, 
Farquhar's  Cell  or  Church.  St  Ferchar  does  not 
seem  to  be  otherwise  known. 

Allt  Coire  Mhaileagain— Malegane   1543.     We 

have  Coire  Mhaileagan  in  the  parish  of  Kin- 
cardine ;  Loch  and  Allt  Valican  in  Glen  Girnag, 
Perth  ;  Cnoc  Malagan,  Sleat.  These  again  cannot 
be  separated  from  such  names  as  the  River  Maillie 
and  Invermaillie,  Kilmaillie  in  Inverness,  Cul- 
maillie  in  Sutherland,  arid  Dalmally,  Oban,  all 
of  which  have  the  '  -maillie '  alike  '  maili '  in 
Gaelic.  The  root  is  '  mal,'  probably  identical  with 
Ir.  '  mal,'  noble  (from  a  primitive  '  mag-lo-s '),  of 
which  Lhuyd  has  a  feminine  '  an  mhal/  the  queen. 
This  latter  agrees  well  with  the  form  '  rnal-ag-an,' 
meaning  '  little  queenly  one ' ;  cf.  for  meaning 
Glen-elg,  noble  glen.  Phonetically  'mal'  could 
come  equally  well  from  '  mad-lo,'  wet,  Latin 
'mad-eo/  but  though  the  root  'mad-'  is  found 
in  Celtic,  we  have  no  instance  of  it  with  this 
particular  suffix. 

176        PLACE-NAMES    OF   BOSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

Allt  Coire  Lair  into  Loch  Cluanie— Burn  of  the 

low  corry  ;  possibly  Mares'  Corry,  or  Mid  Corry. 
Near  it,  but  in  Inverness,  is  Loch  Lundie. 

Gleann  Lie  —  Glenlik  1509;  Glenlic  1633;  from 
'  leac,'  a  flag-stone,  not  leac,  a  cheek  ;  the  glen  is 
narrow,  with  steep  sides  reaching  a  height  of  about 
3000  feet.  At  its  head  is  Coir,e  dhomhain,  deep 
corry.  In  Glenlik,  at  the  foot  of  Ben  Attow,  is 
Acli-a-dhaclid,  where,  according  to  local  legend, 
Diarmid  died.  At  his  dying  wish  for  water  a 
well  burst  forth,  Avhich  is  still  well  known  as  Tobar 
an  Tuirc,  the  Boar's  Well.  Diarmid  was  buried 
at  Dunan  Diarmaid,  near  the  manse  of  Kintail. 

The  stream  through  Glenlik  is  called  Abhainn 
a'  Chrb,  from  the  Cro  of  Kintail  at  its  mouth. 
The  first  deep  pool  is  called  Fianntag,  heath- 
berry.  There  is  also  Innis  a'  chro,  meadow  of  the 
Cro.  The  famous  Cro  of  Kintail  is  a  fine  hill- 
girt  circular  flat. 

Abhainn  Conag — The  river  Conag  joins  the  Cro 
river.  The  local  account  is  that  a  man  was 
drowned  therein  in  presence  of  his  wife,  whence 
the  river  was  called  Conag — '  airson  gun  do  ghori 
bas  a  fir  i.'  With  this  may  be  compared  the 
derivation  of  Averon  from  '  ath  bhron.'  The  name 
is  probably  connected  with  '  con,'  from  '  cu,'  dog. 
Just  beyond  the  head  of  this  glen  is  Loch  a' 
Bhealaich,  loch  of  the  gap  or  pass,  to  wit,  the 
well-known  pass  leading  into  Glen  Aflric,  appear- 
ing in  1542  as  '  lie  ballach.'  It  is  interesting  to 
know  that  it  is  also  known  as  Cadha  Dhubhthaich, 


St  Duthac's  pass,  a  name  which  implies  that  it 
was  by  the  Bealach  the  saint  travelled  from 
Easter  Ross  to  Loch  Duich. 

Domsduan,  at  the  junction  of  Connag  and  a  burn 
called  Alltan  leothaid  ghaineamhaich,  burn  of  the 
sandy  hillside.  The  Gaelic  is  Dorus-dubhain. 
Dubhain  is  very  distinctly  two  syllables,  and 
therefore  may  be  regarded  as  from  '  dubh-an,' 
black-water  ;  '  an/  genitive  '  aine,'  being  an  0.  Ir. 
word  for  water.  Dorusduan  thus  means  Black- 
water  door.  There  is  here  a  ford  over  the  Connag, 
in  crossing  which  Donnachadh  nam  Pios  was 
drowned  on  a  Friday. 

Loch  Loyne — G.  Loch  Loinn,  Loch  of  shimmer  or 
glitter  ;  this  seems  better  than  to  take  loinn  as 
genitive  of  lann,  an  enclosure.  Cf.  Loch  Neimhe 
in  Applecross. 


178        PLACE-NAMES   OF   BOSS    AND   CROMARTY. 


Kintail— Kyntale  1342,  Kyntaill  1535;  G.  Cinn< 
t-saile,  l  head  of  the  salt  water.'  The  parish  of 
Tongue  in  Sutherland  is  Cinn  t-saile  'ic  Aoidh. 
Cinn  t-saile  nani  bodach  's  nam  bo  ;  Kintail  of 
carles  and  cows.  Cf.  Ir.  Kinsale. 

Lienassie  —  G.  Lianisidh  ;  based  on  lean,  a 
moist  meadow ;  for  terminations  cf.  Caoilisidh, 

Diman  Diarmaid — Diarmid's  little  fort ;  "  Dounan 
Diarmod,  a  circular  stone  building,  20  feet  high 
and  20  feet  wide,  near  the  manse  of  Kintail " 
(O.S.A.  1790). 

Ruarach — Roroch  1571  ;  G.  an  Ruadhrach,  the  red 
place,  from  the  screes  immediately  behind  the 
farm  house.  In  1727  divided  into  Mickle  Oxgate, 
Middle  Oxgate  and  Culmuiln. 

Tigh  a'  mholain — House  of  the  little  sea-beach  (of 
shingle),  mol. 

Loch  nan  Coir — Loch  of  the  cranes. 

Achadh  an  droighean — Achadrein  1543,  Achidren 
1727,  field  of  thorns  ;  where  the  manse  is.  Behind 
it  is  Sgurr  an  Airgid,  silver  peak,  otherwise 
Tulach  ard  or  Ard-tulach,  Artullich  1727,  high 
hillock.  "  Tulach-ard  "  was  the  rallying  cry  of 
the  Mackenzies. 

KINTAIL.  179 

Clachan  Dubhthaich — St  Duthac's  Kirktown  ;  the 
old  chapel  and  burying-ground. 

Torr  Chuilinn — Hazel  Tore,  above  Kintail  Church. 

Inveiinate -- Innerenede  1571;  G.  In'ir-ionaid, 
applied  now  to  the  district  from  west  of  Clachan 
Dubhthaich  to  the  burn  from  Coire  Dhuinnid, 
called  in  G.  Leitir  Choill,  Hazel  slope  ;  Letterchall 
1509,  Lettirchoull  1586,  1633.  The  only  "  inver  " 
is  that  formed  by  the  burn  referred  to,  where  it 
enters  Loch  Duich,  and  though  the  phonetics  are 
not  all  that  could  be  wished,  In'ir-ionaid  can 
hardly  be  dissociated  from  Coire  Dhuinnid,  Corry 
of  the  ''  Duinnid.'  Duinnid  might  be  the  genitive 
of  an  abstract  noun  meaning  '  brownness,'  but  it  is 
better  regarded  as  a  river-name  formed  from  donn, 
brown,  after  the  model  of  the  Irish  river-names 
Dianaid,1  dian,  swift ;  Buanid,  buan,  lasting.  Part 
of  the  corry  is  an  Lethallt,  Half-burn  ;  cf.  Lealty. 

Keppoch— Water  of  Keppach  1509,  Keppach  1571  ; 
G.  a'  Cheapaich,  the  tillage  plot. 

Carr — Creag  Charr,  Carr  rock  ;  carr  means  a  rocky 
shelf,  or  projecting  part  of  a  rock  ;  from  the  root 
l-ars,  rough,  seen  in  carraig,  carrach.  Near  it  is 
Creag  a'  Ckriabaill  (a  nasal),  Rock  of  the  Garter. 

Claonaboth— Climbo  1571,  Clunabol,  Blaeu  ;  Clin- 
bow  1727,  claon-both,  awry  or  inclining  booth  ; 
the  intervening  a  is  the  'sporadic'  vowel.  Claon- 
abol  is  also  heard  with  /  developed  through 

1  There  is  a  stream  Deinaid  in  Strathardle. 

180        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND   CROMARTY. 

Dornie — G.  an  D6irnidh,  the  pebbly  place,  an  old 
locative  of  Dc-rnach,  pebbly,  from  d6rn,  fist. 
This  will  be  found  descriptive  of  all  the  places 
of  the  name  Dornie,  Dornoch  or  Dornock,  Durno. 
Mr  J.  Macdonald  (Place-names  in  Strathbogie, 
p.  112),  mentions  Craigdornie,  and  near  it 
Beldornie ;  Drumdurno,  formerly  Drumdornach  ; 
Mindurno,  formerly  Mondornach  ;  and  Edindur- 
nach,  in  all  which  d6rnach  is  adjectival,  pebbly. 
He  thinks  it  is  doirionnach,  stormy.  As  applied 
to  the  village,  Dornie  is  modern.  The  old  name 
was  Bun  d&  loch,  foot  of  two  lochs,  to  wit,  Loch 
Long  and  Loch  Duich,  but  this  is  applied  now 
to  the  *  east  end '  of  the  village  only.  The  original 
Dornie  was  at  Castle  Donan,  and  applied  primarily 
to  the  passage  from  the  shore  to  the  castle,  easily 
fordable  at  low  water,  and  strewn  with  rounded 
stones.  Between  Dornie  and  Bundalloch  is  Cam 
dubh,  black  cairn,  a  part  of  the  village.  Beyond 
Bundalloch  is  Tollaidh,  place  of  the  holes,  at  the 
narrowest  part  of  Loch  Long. 

Ellandonan  —  Alanedonane  1503  ;  G.  Eilean 
Donnain,  (?  St)  Donan's  Isle.  It  is  an  island 
only  at  high  water.  Ellandonan  was  a  place  of 
strength  from  13th  century  times,  until  its  castle 
was  battered  by  cannon  in  1719.  But  there  are 
clear  indications  that  even  before  the  days  of 
castles  it  was  the  site  of  a  vitrified  fort. 

CnOC  an  Tuairneil — Near  Dornie,  ?hill  of  dizzinees. 
Perhaps  rather  a  variant  of  tuairnean,  a  mallet, 
beetle  ;  mallet-hill.  Of.  Ord. 

KINTAIL.  181 

Creag  a'  Chaisil — Rock  of  the  bulwark  or  wall ;  cf 
Coiir  a'  mhuiridh  in  Applecross. 

Oamuslinnie — G.  Camas  luinge,  Bight  of  L.  Long. 

Eillilan— G.  Gill  Fhaolain,  St  Fillan's  Church. 
Here  is  the  site  of  a  chapel,  and  a  burying- 
ground  still  used,  regarding  which  there  is  a 
tradition  current  that  funerals  come  to  it  in 
threes.  Some  seven  miles  beyond  is  Maol 
Buidhe,  yellow  rounded  hill. 

Camaslongart  -  -  Bight  of  the  encampment  or 

Fadoch — Nadoch,  Blaeu ;  G.  an  Fhadaich,  place  of 
fad,  turf  or  sod.  In  Ireland  fod,  sod,  gives  rise 
to  many  names.  It  applies  to  a  smooth  grassy 
place  ;  cf.  Swordale  ;  Artafaillie. 

Coille-righ — So  spelled  means  King's  wood  ;  but  it 
is  really  Coille-ruigh',  Wood  of  the  slope. 

Glen  Elchaig — G.  Gleann  Eilcheig,  so  named  from 
its  river  Abhainn  Eilcheig,  a  diminutive  of 
eileach,  meaning  in  modern  G.  a  mill  lade,  but 
based  on  ail,  rock  or  boulder,  and  therefore  prim- 
arily rocky  or  place  of  rocks  ;  cf.  Craig-ellachie, 
the  Irish  Ailech,  and  Alesia,  better  Alixia,  the 
Gaulish  rock  fortress.  Thus  Eilcheig  is  '  the 
little  rocky  one.'  In  its  upper  reaches  it  widens 
into  Loch  na  Leitreach,  loch  of  the  hill  slope,  with 
Carnach,  G.  a'  Charnaich,  rough  place,  or  place  of 
cairns,  at  its  head.  It  rises  in  Loch  Muireagan. 

Gldmach  and  Allt  ca   Glomaich,  place  of  the 

chasm,   from  glbm,   a  gloomy  hollow   or   chasm, 
gorge,   applied   in   Lochcarron   to   the   chasm   or 

182         PLACE-NAMES    OF    ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

gorge  of  the  river  Taodal,  which  on  a  smaller  scale 
resembles  the  terrific  gorge  of  Glomach  ;  cf.  the 
Gloume    or    Castle    Gloom,    Dollar ;    now   Castle 
Abhainn  Gaorsaig,  also  Loch  Gaorsaig,  Sgtirr 

Gaorsaig  ;  doubtful ;  ?  gaorr,  a  thrill. 

On  the  river  is  Loch  thuill  easaidh,  loch  of  the 
waterfall   hole ;    easaidh    being   old    genitive    of 
easach  ;  cf.  Essich,  G.  Easaich,  near  Inverness. 
Gleann  Shiaghaidh  and  Abhainn   Siaghaidh— 
possibly  from  O.  Ir.  segda,  stately,  handsome. 

The  river  flows  east  into  Loch  Lungard,  loch  of 
the  encampment  or  shieling,  whose  waters  go  to 
Maol-ardaich  (Loch  Mullardoch). 
Carnan  Cruithneachd  2386 — The  little  cairn  of 

the  Cruithne.  or  Picts  ;  the  meaning  of  wheat 
seems  impossible.  The  article  is  prefixed,  but  that 
sometimes  happens  when  the  sense  of  the  second 
part  being  a  proper  noun  is  lost,  e.g.,  an  Fheill- 
Dubhthaich,  St  Duthac's  Fair. 

Riochan — G.  Biabhachan,  the  brindled  place  ;  deer- 

Carn-6ite  3877  —  Cf.  Carn-eit  in  Contin ;  Allt- 
eiteachan  in  Kincardine  parish ;  Tobar  na 
h-diteachan  in  Nigg ;  Loch-eite  and  Gleann-eite, 
Loch  Etive  and  Glen  Etive ;  Allt  Chill-eiteachan 
near  Ullapool.  Whether  the  base  in  all  these 
cases  is  the  same  is  doubtful.  The  eite  of  Gleann- 
eite  applies  no  doubt  primarily  to  the  stream  of 
that  glen,  and  the  accepted  etymology  is  from 
the  root  seen  in  Lat.  i-re,  to  go,  with  extensions, 

KINTAIL.  183 

with  which  may  perhaps  be  compared  Gael,  eite, 
eiteadh,   stretching,  extending.     The  connection 
in  Carn-eite  is  not  clear. 
Mam  Sabhal  3862—  Rounded  hill  of  barns  ;  noted 

for  grass. 

Carn-eite  nan  gobhar,  's  Mam-sabhal  an  fheoir. 
Carn-eite  of  goats,  and  Mam-sabhal  of  grass. 

Gleann  Choilich  and  Abhainn  Coilich— Glen  and 

river   of  the   rapid  ;    coileach   is  applied  to  the 
crests  of  broken  water. 
Coileach  is  Siaghaidh  is  Braigh  Ghlinne-ghriabhaidh. 

Mamag — The  little  mam,  or  rounded  hill ;  beyond 
Coille  righ,  opposite  Carnoch. 

Cain  na  Breabaig — Beyond  Carnoch  ;  '  cairn  of  the 
little  kick  or  start '  ;  the  term  '  breabag '  is 
applied  to  a  hill  in  which  there  i's  a  cleft  such  as 
might  be  supposed  to  have  been  caused  by  a 
sudden  start ;  cf.  Breabag  adjoining  Ben  More  in 

Ach-a-ghargain — Field  of  the  rough  place,  near 
Kilillan  ;  cf.  Gargastoun. 

Lochaidh  Mhuireagain  —  (O. S. M. ,  Loch  Muir- 
ichinn),  Muireagan's  Lochlet.  The  proper  name 
Muireagan  means  *  mariner/  based  on  muir,  the 

An  Creachal  Beag  2854;  perhaps  a  variant  of 
'  creachan/  a  bare  hill  top. 

River  Ling — Abhainn  Luinge,  Ship's  river. 

Loch  Long — Ship  loch. 

184         PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 


Lochalsh  —  Lochalsche  1464  ;  Lochalch  1472  ; 
Lochelch  1510  ;  Lochalse  1576  ;  G.  Loch-aillse  or 
Loch-ai'se  (with  I  dropped  before  s,  as  usual)  ; 
undoubtedly  the  Volsas  or  Volas  Bay  of  Ptolemy, 
the  geographer  of  the  early  part  of  the  second 
century.  The  modern  Gaelic  favours  an  origin 
from  Yolsas,  and  Dr  A.  Macbain  would  connect 
with  a  root  vol,  to  roll,  as  a  wave ;  Eng.  well, 
Lat.  volvo.  Loch  Alsh,  in  Sutherland,  is  the  same 
in  Gaelic. 

Aldnarff — Ardnanarf  1554;  Ardenarra  1574; 
Ardonarrow  1607  ;  G.  Ard-an-arbha,  Promontory 
of  the  corn. 

Inchnairn — Inchenarne  1548,  1554,  and  1607  ; 
Inchnairnie  1574  ;  G.  Inriis  an  fhearna,  Alder- 

Femaig — Fairnmoir  and  Fayrineagveg  (big  and 
little  Fearnaig)  1495  ;  Fayrnagmore  and  Fayrin- 
aegveg  1527  ;  G.  Fearnaig,  place  of  alders. 

Achmore — Achmoir  1495,  1527;  Auchmoir  1548; 
G.  Acha-mor,  Big  Field  ;  with  it  went  Killochir 
1548,  1607,  or  Cuylohir,  1527  ?  cuil  odhar,  dun 
nook  ;  seemingly  obsolete. 

Achachonleich  —  Achechoynleith  1495;  Achchon- 
elyth  1527  ;  Auchachondlig  1633  ;  G.  Ach-a- 
chonalaich.  There  is  a  confluence  at  the  spot,  and 


the  name  seems  to  be  based  on  coingeall,  a  whirl- 
pool, '  Field  of  the  place  of  the  Whirlpool ' ;  cf. 
Connal  Ferry. 

Braeintra — Brayeintraye  1495  ;  Brayeintrahe  1548; 
Breaintread  1633  ;  G.  Braigh'  an  t-sratha  :  Upper 
part  of  the  strath. 

Craig — Cragy  et  Harsa  1548  ;  1554  lie  Craig  ;  Craig 
et  Harsa  1607  ;  G.  a'  Chreag,  the  Eock  ;  with  it 
goes  Duncraig,  the  old  name  of  which  was  am 
Fasadh,  the  dwelling,  otherwise  am  Fasadh 
aluinn,  the  lovely  dwelling.  Harsa  seems  obsolete. 

Achandarach — Achenadariache  1495  ;  Achendar- 
iach  1527  ;  Auchnadarrach  1548  ;  G.  Achadh  nan 
darach,  Field  of  the  oaks. 

Achnahinich  —  Auchnahowgych  1548  ;  Auchna- 
henych  1554  ;  Auchinnahynneych  1574  ;  Auchna- 
hinginche  1607  ;  Auchnahenginche  1633  ;  G. 
Achadh  na  h-inich.  Duncan  Mathesoii,  a 
Mathesoii  historian,  spells  it  Acha  na  Shinich,  and 
he  says  that  at  Achadh  da  Tearnaidh  (Field  of 
two  descents)  here,  the  Mathesons  used  to  rally 
as  to  a  rendezvous  when  they  took  the  field. 
They  drank  of  the  sacred  stream  of  Alltan- 
rabhraidh  (Burn  of  the  murmuring)  and  started. 
Achnahinich  is  for  Achadh  na  h-iongnaich 
(h-inich),  Field  of  the  Nail-place,  i.e.,  of  the  point ; 
ionga,  a  nail,  is  common  in  Irish  names  in  this 

Balmacarra  —  Ballimacroy  1548  ;  Ballamaccarra 
1554,  1607,  and  1653  ;  Ballemakcarrane  1574  ; 
G.  Baile  mac  Carra,  or  possibly  Baile  mac  Ara, 

186        PLACE-NAMES   OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

Township  of  the  sons  of  Carra  or  Ara.  MacAra 
or  MacCarra  is  a  Perthshire  name.  For  the 
formation  cf.  Belmaduthy,  G.  Baile  mac  Duibh. 

Auchtertyre— -Wochterory  1495  ;  Ochtertere  1527  ; 
Ochbertirie  1548  ;  G.  uchd-a-rire,  or  Uachdar- 
thire,  Upper  part  of  the  land  ;  cf.  lochdar-thire 
or  lochdar-rire,  Englished  Eastertyre,  in  Strath  - 

Achtaytoralan — Auchtatorlyne  1548  ;  Auchtator- 
lane  1554;  Auchridtidorillane  1574;  Auchtator- 
rellan  1607  ;  G.  Achadh-da-torralan  ;  a  doubtful 
word ;  perhaps  '  Field  of  two  descents/  from 
torluimi ;  perhaps  a  derivative  of  torrau,  hillock, 
from  torr.  With  Achtaytoralan  went  Ardach 
1548,  Ardache  1607,  Ardacht  1574,  High-field. 

Nostie— Nostie  1548,  1574;  Noyste  1554;  Nostie 
1607,  1633;  G.  Nosdaidh  for  'n  osd-thigh,  the 
inn,  with  the  article  in  the  dative  or  locative 
prefixed  as  in  Nonach.  There  is  tradition  of  an 
inn  here. 

Ardelve— Ardelly  1548  ;  Ardelf,  1554  ;  Ardillie 
1574;  Ardelleive  1607;  Ardelve  1633;  Ardhill 
1691  ;  G.  Ard-eilbh  or  Aird-iT  (locally  cf.  1691 
spelling) ;  Feill  na  h-airde,  Ardelve  market ;  most 
probably  for  Aird-eilghidh,  Height  of  the  fallow 

Conchra — Connachry  1548  ;  Concry  1554;  Conchra 
1574  and  1633  ;  Conchara  1607  ;  G.  Conchra, 
Place  of  Cruives,  from  con,  together,  and  era, 
which  is  a  variant  of  cro,  fold,  but  specialised 
in  the  sense  of  cruive. 


Sallachy— Sallach  1548;  Salche  1554;  Sallachie 
1574,  1633;  G.  Salachaidh,  Place  of  Willows; 
O.G.  sailech,  willow,  now  seileach  ;  Scottish  saucb 
for  salch,  O.E.  salt  ;  cf.  Sauchieburn  for  older 
Salcbie  (Stirling),  where  possibly  the  word  is 
Scottish  ;  also  Salachar,  Applecross. 

Port  a'  Chuilinn— Holly  Port. 

Plockton — G.  am  Ploc,  the  Lump,  applied  to  the 
humpy  promontory  which  ends  in  Ruemore,  Gaelic 
Rudha-mor,  Big-cape. 

Duart — G.  Dubh-aird,  black  point. 

Strathy — G.  an  t-Srathaidh;  abhainn  an  t-Srath- 
aidh,  Strathy  river  ;  these  G.  forms  prove 
Srathaidh  to  be  singular  number,  and  I  take  it 
to  be  a  diminutive,  meaning  Little  Strath.  It  is 
very  small  for  a  strath. 

Seann-chreag — Old  rock. 

Port-an-e6rna — Barley  Port ;  Port-na-cloiche,  Port 
of  the  stone. 

Badicaul — G.  Bada-call,  Hazel  Clump. 

Kyle  of  Lochalsh — G.  an  Gaol,  the  narrow. 

€rlen  Udalan — Udalan  is  a  derivative  of  G.  udail, 
to  be  unsteady,  to  rock ;  '  the  rocker '  ;  applied 
primarily  to  the  stream.  Udalan  in  common 
speech  means  a  swivel  or  swingle-tree,  with  same 
notion.  Cf.  Ben  Udlamain,  east  of  Loch  Ericht, 
a  different  formation  from  the  same  word  ;  and, 
for  meaning,  Aonadh  air  Chrith  in  Glenshiel. 

Ullava — An  islet  near  Duncraig  ;  N.  ulf-ey,  Wolfs 
Isle  ;  probably  Ulf  was  a  person's  name.  On  the 
mainland  is  Uaimh  Ulabha,  Cave  of  Ulva  ;  cf. 
Ulva  near  Mull. 

188        PLACE-NAMES    OF    ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

Duirinish — Dm-ris  1548,  Durness  1554,  Dowrnes, 
Durinische  1 607  ;  N.  dyra-nes,  Deer's  headland  ; 
cf.  Duirinish  in  Skye  and  Durness  in  Sutherland. 

Erbusaig— Arbesak  1554,  Erbissok  1633;  G.  Ear- 
barsaig,  with  developed  r,  for  which  cf.  Cromarty. 
It  appears  to  mean  Erp's  bay,  Erp  being  a  personal 
name  borrowed  by  the  Norse  from  the  Picts.  The 
Gaelic  form  of  Erp  is  Ere,  e.g.  Fergus  MacErc,  the 
first  King  of  Dalriada. 

Stromeferry — A  hybrid ;  ferry  is  English  ;  Strome, 
N.  straumr,  current,  stream,  common  in  the  Ork- 
neys and  Norse  regions  generally ;  G.  Port  an 
t-Sroim,  where  the  presence  of  the  article  with 
Sroim  shows  it  to  have  come  to  be  felt  a  Gaelic 
word.  The  Castles  of  Strome  and  Ellandonan 
were  of  old  the  chief  fortresses  of  the  West  Coast. 

Pladaig — N.  flatr,  flat ;  aig  is  either  vik,  bay,  or 
possibly  a  G.  diminutive  terminative. 

Scalpaidh — N.  skalp-a,  ship-river  ;  Scalpa,  Skye,  is 
Ship-isle,  and  in  the  Orkneys  it  is  for  Ship- 
isthmus  (ei^)  ;  G.  Scalpa  'Chaoil,  Scalpa  of  the 
Sound,  i.e.,  Kyleakin. 

Reraig — Rowrag  1548,  Rerek  1554,  Rerag  1607  ; 
G.  Rearaig,  N.  reyr-vik,  Reed-bay.  There  is 
another  Reraig  in  Lochcarron. 

Avemish — Avernis  1495,  Awnarnys  1527,  Avar- 
rynis  1548,  Evernische  1607,  Averneis  1633  ; 
G.  Abhairnis ;  probably  N.  afar-nes,  Big  or  Bulky 

Ceann-an-oba — G.  Ceann  an  oib,  head  of  the  bay ; 
N.  hop,  borrowed  into  Gaelic  ;  cf.  Oban,  Obbe  in 


Harris,  Ben  Hope  in  Sutherland.     Ob  an  duine, 

Man's  bay,  is  in  Plockton. 
Palascaig — G.     Palascaig,    but    Loch     Fealascaig  ; 

N.  fjalla-skiki,  Hill-strip  ;  cf.  Pladda  from  N.  flatr. 
Strathasgag— G.  Srath-asgaig,  a  hybrid;  G.  srath, 

strath ;    N.    li-skiki,    river-strip ;    cf.    Arscaig   on 

Loch  Shin. 
Lundie — Lunde  1495,  Lundy  1527;  G.  Lunndaidh 

v.  Maoil  Lunndaidh,  Con  tin.     There  is  also  here 

Loch  Lundy.      The   name    is    Pictish.       It    is    a 

marshy  place. 
Kirkton — G.     an    Clachan    Aillseach,     the    stone 

church    of  Lochalsh  ;    dedicated  to    St    Congan. 

Near  the  burying-ground  is  Cnoc  nan  Ainyeal, 

Angels'  knoll ;  possibly  knoll  of  beacon  fires. 
Khmamoine — G.  Ceann  na  m6ine,  Moss- head. 
Eilean  Tioram — Dry  Island  (a  common  name),  at 

the  entrance  to  Loch  Long.     Between  it  and  the 

mainland  is  an  t-saothair,  where  the  rising  tide 

rushes  with  great  speed. 
Aultnasou — Auldinseie    1691  ;    G.   Allt    nan   siibh, 

Raspberry  burn. 
Nonach — G.  'Nonach  ;    Loch  na  h-onaich,  not  far 

off,  shows  that  we  have  here  the  article  an  with 

onach ;  cf.   Oriich,  near  Ballachulish,  from  Omh- 

anach  (locative  omhanaich),  Place  of  foam. 
Poll-an-tarie — G.  Poll  an  tairbh,  Bull's  pool,  where 

a  legendary  battle  between  the   Mathesons   and 

Sutherland  men  took  place. 
Patt — G.  a'  Phait  Mhonarach,  Hump  of  Monar. 


Loch  Calvie— G.  Loch  Cailbhidh,  Loch  of  shoots  . 

there  is  good  grass  here ;  G.  cailbh,  shoot,  twig  ; 

cf.  Glencalvie. 
Coire  na  SOrna — Corry  of  the  furnace,  or  furnace - 

shaped  gully,  interesting  as  giving  a  fern,  genitive 

to  G.  sorn,  but  the  word  was  both  mas.  and  fern. 

in  early  Irish.     We  have  the  correct  genitive  in 

Loch  Hourn,   G.   Loch    Shuirn,   cf.   the  Dean    of 

Lismore's  Book — 

Leggit  derri  di  worn 
eddir  selli  is  sowyrrni 

an  end  of  merriment  is  made 
between  Shiel  and  Hourn. 

i.e.,  in  the  Clan  Ranald  country. 
Loch  Monar — Monare  15421 ;  G.  Loch  Mhonair  ; 
G.  '  monar '  means  a  trifle  ;  a  trifling  thing  ; 
but  the  place-name  is  probably  quite  different.  It 
applies  primarily  to  the  place  ;  Loch  Mhonair  is 
the  Loch  of  Monar,  and  Monar  may  be  a  Pictish 
name  based,  on  root  of  monadh,  viz.,  men,  high, 
and  meaning  'the  High  Land/  Near  it  is 
Innis-loicheil  :  Ir.  lochall  or  lochull  is  explained 
as  '  the  plant  called  broomlime '  ;  the  o  in 
the  place-name  is,  however,  long,  and  may  be 
the  old  adjective  loch,  black,  which  would  give 
loch-choille,  Black- wood  ;  Blackwood-haugh. 

1  In  1542  appears  :  "the  waste  lands  of  Monare,  between  the  water  of 
Gleneak  on  the  north,  the  ridge  ef  Laudovir  on  the  south,  the  burn  of 
Towmik  and  Inchelochill  on  the  east,  and  the  water  of  Bernia  running  inio 
the  water  of  Long  on  the  west."  Qleneak  is  Gleann-fhiodhaig  in  Contin  ; 
Laudovir  I  cannot  identify  ;  burn  of  Towmik  is  Allt-Toll-na  muioe,  east  of 
Loch  Mouar  ;  the  water  of  Bernis  is  still  called  Uisg'  a'  Bhearnais,  water  of 
the  Cleft. 


Beinn  Dronaig — Probably  from  the  root  seen  in  G. 

droineach,  ragged  ;  for  meaning  cf.  Beinn  Feusaig. 
Loch    CrUOShie — G.     Loch     Cru'oisidh  ;    Loch    of 

the    hard   place,   based    on   cruaidh,    hard,    with 

the  extensions  seen  in  Caolisidh. 
An  Ruigh  breac — The  dappled  reach  (O.S.M.  Cam 

an  Reidh  bhric). 
Loch  Anna — G.  Loch  an  aim'. 
Creag  nan  Grarrag  (  =  garradh) — Rock  of  the  dens  ; 

O.S.M.  Creag  na  Cairge. 
An  Fhrith-ard — Freeard  1691,  the  small  height; 

G.  frith,  small. 

Cam  nan  Dobhran — Otter-cairn. 

Drochaid    Cnoc-a-chrochaire  -  -  Hangman's    Hill 

Apparently  obsolete  are  : — Fadamine  1495, 
Fynimain  1527,  Fineman  1548,  Acheache  1495, 
Acheachy  1527,  and  Auchcroy  1548,  1607, 
Auchnacroy  1611,  mentioned  in  connection  with 
Fernaigbeg.  The  two  merklands  of  Culthnok, 
Achnacloich,  Blaregarwe,  and  Acheae  appear  in 
1495  and  1527.  With  Achtertyre  goes  Achich 
1548,  Achiche  1607.  Fuday  (a  Teiroung)  1627, 
Idiu  1691,  Innershinak  1691,  Auchowlosk  1633, 
Auchaiiloisk,  Auchinleisk  1669,  Auchalloch  1699. 

192        PLACE-NAMES   OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 


Lochcarron — Loghcarn  1275  (Theiner  Yet.  Mon.) ; 
Lochcarryn  1474  ;  G.  Loch-carrann,  from  the 
river  Carron,  which  enters  the  sea  loch  after  a 
course  through  Glen-carron  and  Strath-carron. 
There  are  in  Scotland  some  half-dozen  or  more 
rivers  Carron,  all  with  rough  and  rocky  beds. 
The  root  is  *  kars-/  rough,  seen  also  in  '  carraig/  a 
rock,  and  '  earn,'  a  heap  of  stones.  Ptolemy's 
Carnonacae,  on  the  west  coast  of  Eoss,  are  the 
'  men  of  the  cairns '  or  of  '  the  rough  bounds.'  On 
the  analogy  of  such  Gaulish  river  names  as 
Matrona,  the  primitive  form  of  Carron,  which  is 
doubtless  a  Pictish  word,  would  be  Oarsona  ;  cf. 
Carseoli  in  Italy  ;  and  for  Gaelic  '  rr '  arising  from 
crs,'  cf.  Man*  and  the  Italian  tribe  Marsi.  But 
cf.  also  the  G.  words  barr  and  earr.1  The  old 
graveyard  at  the  old  parish  church  is  Cladh  a' 

Kishorn — Kischernis  1464  ;  Kissurine  1633  ;  G. 
Cis-orn,  Norse  '  keis-horn,'  bulky  cape.  Blaeu's 
Atlas  put  Combrich  at  the  head  of  Loch  Kishorn, 
confusing  with  Applecross. 

Tornapreas — G.  Treabhar  nam  preas,  bush-stead. 
The  English  form  is  deceptive. 

1  A.  Macbaiti's  Gaelic  Dictionary. 


Courthill — Cnoc  a'  mhoid  :  the  moot-hill  in  question 
is  close  to  the  north  side  of  the  bury  ing-ground 
below  Courthill  House.  Behind  the  house  again 
is  Cnoc  na  croiche,  Gallowhill.  At  the  burying- 
ground  was  a  chapel  called  Seipeil  Donnain, 
St  Donan's  Chapel. 

The  Dun:  quarter  of  Domi  1495,  Doune  1633,  near 
Cnoc  na  croiche,  was  evidently  once  a  township. 
The  hill-fort  from  which  it  took  its  name  is  still 
traceable,  though  much  broken.  G.  Lag  an  Duin, 
Hollow  of  the  Fort. 

Ach-a-bhanaidh — Auchvanie  1633  ;  probably  based 
on  ban,  white,  yielding  banach,  white  place,  or 
untilled  field.  (Also  Achbane  1548,  Davach  of 
Achwanye  1583). 

Seafield — G.  An  rudha,  the  point  ;  also  Rudha 
Nois  ;  perhaps  Rudha  'n  6is,  stream-mouth  point ; 
it  is  right  opposite  Russell  Burn,  on  the  other 
side  of  the  loch. 

Sanachan — Tannachtan  1548;  Safnachan,  1583; 
G.  Samhnachan  ;  G.  samh,  sorrel,  with  extensions  ; 
Little  place  of  Sorrel. 

Arddarroch — Oak-promontory  ;  south-east  of  it  is 
Ardochdainn,  Little  High  field. 

Achintraid  —  Auchnatrait  1623,  shore-field  ;  cf. 
Balintraid  in  Kilmuir  Easter.  The  stream  which 
enters  Loch  Kishorn  at  this  point  is  commonly 
called  the  Kishorn  river  ;  O.S.M.,  Amhainn 
Cuag  a'  Ghlinne. 

Goirtean  na  h-Airde — The  small  corn  enclosure  of 
the  point. 



Camusdonn — Brown  bay ;  Meall  no,  h-airde,  hill  of 
the  promontory. 

Loch  Eeraig — G.  Rearaig,  Norse  '  reyrr-vik,'  reed 
bay.  There  is  another  Eeraig  in  Lochalsh. 
Rerok  1583. 

Eilean  na  beinne — Island  of  the  peak.  •  Beann  is 
here  used  in  its  primary  meaning. 

Ardnaniaskin — G.  Aird  an  fhiasgain,  mussel  pro- 

Strome — Strome  Carranache  1495  ;  Norse  'straumr/ 
a  stream,  current,  race.  There  are  Strom  mor, 
Strom  meadhonach,  and  Strom  Carranach. 

Bad  a'  Chreamha — Clump  of  the  wild  garlic ; 
behind  Strome  Castle. 

Slumbay— Slomba  1495  ;  Slumba  1633  ;  G.  Slumba  ; 
probably  Norse  '  slaemr-vagr,'  slim  or  small  bay. 

Lochcarron  Village,  or  Janetown,  formerly  Torr 
Dan  clar,  Torr  of  the  staves  or  boards.  Referring 
to  its  change  of  name  and  improved  houses, 
there  is  a  local  rhyme,  ascribed  to  the  Rev. 
LachJan  Mackenzie — 

Faire  faire,  Torr-nan-clar ! 

Baile  Seiiv  th'  ort  an  drast, 

Chan  'eil  tigh  air  an  teid  fad  [air  teine], 

Nach  bi  similear  air  no  dha. 

Out  upon  thee,  Tornaclar ! 
Town  of  Jane  thou  now  art  called  ; 
Not  a  house  on  which  goes  sod, 
That  has  not  chimneys  one  or  two. 

Behind  Janetown  is  An  Teanya  Fkiadhaich,  the 
wild  tongue ;  a  very  rugged  piece  of  land. 


Achintee — Achintee,  1633  ;  Achnanty  (Blaeu) ;  G. 
Achd  an  t-sithidh,  as  if  from  sitheadh,  force ; 
sith,  an  onset ;  ? '  Field  of  the  blast '  ;  cf.  Achna- 

Eas  an  teampuill— Temple  waterfall,  a  very  fine 
and  wild  double  fall,  fifteen  minutes'  walk  from 
Strathcarron  Station.  The  '  temple '  is  said  to 
have  stood  near  it  on  the  right  bank  of  the  burn, 
where  there  are  some  ruins.  A  further  ecclesi- 
astical trace  is  found  in  Alltan  an  t-sagairt, 
priest's  burnlet,  a  little  to  the  west,  near  Achintee. 
Both  are  no  doubt  to  be  connected  with  the 
Clachan  at  Lochcarron.  Blaeu  places  Clachan 
Mulruy  near  Achintee,  but  west  of  it.  The 
Temple  fall  is  on  the  river  of 

Tao'udal,  Englished  Tweedle ;  the  birch  and  fir 
copses  fringing  its  banks  are  called  '  doire  Thao- 
udail,'  copse  of  Taodail  ;  ?  Norse  haga-dalr, 
pasture-field,  with  the  usual  prefixed  t.  The  dale 
is  of  course  on  the  lower  reaches  of  the  stream. 

Attadale — ?  N.  at-dair,  fight  dale  ;  the  Norsemen 
were  fond  of  horse-fights,  hesta-at,  and  this  fine 
level  strath  would  have  been  a  suitable  place  for 
that  purpose  ;  cf.  Attadale  in  Applecross. 

Camallt — Bent  burn. 

Strathan — Little  strath. 

limner — G.  An  t-iomaire,  the  rig,  or  ridge  of  land  ; 

also  Carn  an  iomair,  Cairn  of  the  ridge. 
Cnoc  nam  mult — Wedder  hill. 
CoulagS — G.  Na  Cuileagan,  the  little  nooks,  or  back 

places.     Sgardan  nan  Cuileag,  Scree  of  the  little 

nooks,  is  a  brae  on  the  road  near. 


Balnacra — G.  Beul  ath  nan  era,  Ford-mouth  of  the 

Arinackaig — Arimachlag  1543  ;  G.  Airigh-neacaig  ; 

1  neacaig '  looks  like  the  genitive  of  Neachdag, 

feminine  of  Neachdan,  Nectan. 

Loch  Dughall — L.  Dowill  (Blaeu) ;  Dougald's  loch- 
Achnashelloch  —  Auchinsellach      1584  ;     Auchna- 

shelloch  1633— Willowfield. 

River  Lair,  Coire  Laire,  and  Farm  of  Lair  :  from 

Lar  in  the  sense  of  a  low  place,  bottom. 

Gorstan — G.  an  Goirtean  fraoich,  the  small  corn 
enclosure  among  the  heather. 

Lon  Coire  Chrubaidh — Moist  flat  of  the  bent 

Loch  Sgamhain — '  Sgamban'  means  (1)  lungs  or 
lights,  (2)  corn  or  hay  built  up  in  a  barn.  Local 
authority  connects  the  name  of  the  loch  with  the 
former :  when  the  water-horse  devoured  a  man, 
the  victim's  lungs  or  liver  usually  floated  to  the 
shore.  But  the  more  peaceful  alternative  is 

Beinn  F6usaig — Beard-hill ;  it  is  bare  on  one  side, 
and  has  long  heather  on  the  other. 

Coulin,1   Loch    Coulin,    River   Coulin  —  Coullin 

1633;  G.  Culainn  ('u'  strongly  nasal).  The 
word  can  hardly  be  other  than  a  locative  of  '  con- 
lann,'  meaning  either  '  high  enclosure '  ('  kunoe,' 
high),  or  *  collection  of  enclosures '  ('  con, 

1  "  Coulin  (or  Connlin)  is  from  Connlach,  a  Fingalian  hero,  who  was  buried 
on  a  promontory  in  the  loch.  The  site  of  hi«  grave  is  still  pointed  out "-  -Mr 
J.  H.  Dixon'a  Gairloch. 


together).  '  Lann,'  enclosure,  is  found  alone,  as 
An  loinn,  the  enclosure  ;  and  in  composition  as 
An  garbhlainn,  near  Loch  Ruthven  (Inverness), 
which  appears  on  the  O.S.  map  as  Caroline. 
The  Kinlochewe  tenants  of  old  had  their  shielings 
where  Coulin  Lodge  now  stands.  The  old  name 
of  the  spot  is  still  remembered,  and  appears  in  the 
couplet — 

Cumain  is  snathain  is  im'ideil l 
Ceithir  thimchioll  Liib  Theamradail. 

Milk  pails  and  threads  and  coverings 
All  round  the  bend  of  Temradal. 

Teamradal,  N.  Timbr-dalr,  timber-dale. 

Torran  CUilinn — Holly  knoll ;  at  the  east  end  of 
Loch  Coulin. 

Loch  Glair — G.  Loch  Clair,  loch  of  the  level  place. 

Loch  a*  Bharranaich  (O.S.M.  Loch  Maireannach), 
Loch  of  *  barranach,'  very  long  and  strong  grass 
with  broad  leaves  like  corn,  growing  in  lochs. 
Fionnaltan,  Whiteburns,  is  at  its  head  ;  Loch  an 
an  iasgaich,  lochlet  of  (good)  fishing  ;  Lochan 
gobhlach,  forked  lochlet  (has  a  fork  at  either  end). 

SgtUT  Ruadh  (3141)— Eed  peak  ;  Maol  cheann 
dearg  (accented  on  'cheann')  (3060),  red-headed 
brow;  Ruadh  stac  (2919),  red  'stack,'  or  steep 
hill,  are  all  of  the  red  Torridon  rock.  Na  cinn 
liath,  the  grey  heads,  are  quartzite.  Cam  breac, 
spotted  cairn  ;  Fuar  tholl,  cold  hole ;  Cnoc  na 

1  Im'ideal ;  this  was  a  vessel  for  carrying  cream  and  milk  home  from  the 
shielings.  Its  mouth  was  covered  with  a  piece  of  skin  (called  in  the  Reay 
country  iolaman),  tied  below  the  brim  with  thread  (snathan).  The  word  is 
doubtless  imbhuideal. — Rev.  C.  M.  Robertson. 


h-&than,  kiln-hill ;  Torr  na  h-iolaire,  eagle  torr ; 
Glas  bheinn,  green  hill. 

Blaad— Bleyat,  1548  ;  Blaad  1633  ;  G.  Blathaid  ; 
O.  Ir.  bla,  glossed  faithche.  a  green ;  bla,  a 
place,  glossed  baile  (both  apparently  the  same 
word) ;  with  the  suffix  seen  in  Bial-id,  Caol-id,  &c. 
'  Place  of  the  green.'  The  place  is  noted  for  its 

New  Kelso — G.  Eadar  dha  Charrainn,  between  two 
Carrons.     The  river  Carron  makes  a  large  bend 
round  it.     Edira-carrain,  Blaeu. 
Dail  Mhartuinn — Delmartyne  1633  ;  Martin's  dale, 

marching  with  Balnacra. 
Dail  Charmaig — Cormac's  dale. 
Sevochan — Where  the  smithy   is,  a  mile  west  of 
New     Kelso.      Ruboachane     1546  ;    G.    Ruigh- 
Bhuadhchain  ;  near  it    is   Abhainn   Bhuadhchaig 
((XS.M.  Abhainn  Bhuidheach) ;  also  Buadhchaig  ; 
Buadhchain    is  genitive  of  Buadhchan,  probably 
Buadh-ach-an,  place  of  victory,  or  place  of  virtue 
(i.e.,    efficacy)  ;    Buadhchaig  is  merely  a  variant 
with   feminine  termination.      The    '  virtue '    may 
have  been  in  the  place  itself,  i.e.,  in  producing 
herbs   of  worth  ;  or   in    the    water   of  its  river. 
Abhainn  Bhuadhchaig,  however,  means  '  River  of 
Buadhchag,'  the  inference  being  that  Buadhchag 
is  primarily  the   name  of  the  place,   not  of  the 
river.     Cf.  however  Ir.  river  name  Buaidnech. 
Tullich — G.   an    Tulaich,   the   hillock ;   but  of  old 

an  Tulchainn. 
Brecklach — G.  a'  Bhraclach,  the  dappled  place. 


Coire  Fionnarach — May  be  a  formation  from 
fionnar,  cool  (Ir.  fionn-fhuar,  white-cold),  or  it 
may  come  directly  from  fionn,  white ;  cf.  ruadh'- 
rach,  from  ruadh,  red  ;  '  Cool  Corrv,'  or  '  Corry  of 
the  white  places  (or  white  water).'  The  river 
from  Loch  Coire  Fionnaraich  is  Fionn  Abhainn, 
white  river,  from  the  clearness  of  its  water. 
About  midway  between  the  loch  and  Allt  nan 
Ceapairean  is  Clack  nan  Con  Fionn,  Stone  of  the 
White  Dogs  ;  a  tapering  stone  about  10  feet  bigh, 
to  which  local  legend  says  the  hero  Fionn  used  to 
fasten  his  dogs.  It  is  all  worn  by  their  chains. 
Probably  a  trysting  place  for  hunters  and  their 

Allt  an  ruigh'  shleaghaich— (O.S  M.  Allt  reidh 

sleighich).  Cf.  Slioch  in  Gairloch.  It  rises  in 
Mbiri  a'  Chreathair,  sieve  moss. 

Allt  Doir-ithigean — West  of  Cnoc  na  h-^than ; 
•  obscure  ;  perhaps  contains  a  proper  name. 

Allt  a'  Chonais — Burn  of  Coneas ;  G.  an  Conais ; 
this  was  a  homestead  by  the  burn.  For  Coneas 
cf.  Coneas  in  Kiltearn,  and  na  Coineasan,  in 
English  '  the  Eockies,'  a  series  of  pools  and  falls  in 
the  Gruinard  River. 

Coire  Liridh — Liridh  is  doubtless  connected  with 
G.  Lirean,  meaning  the  green  slimy  stuff  that 
forms  in  quiet  water  ;  cf.  the  Liris,  a  river  of 
Italy  ;  Liriope,  a  fountain  nymph.  Liridh  is 
probably  a  Pictish  stream  name,  primitive  Lirios  ; 
root  ti,  smooth,  polished,  seen  in  Lat.  limo,  polish; 
G.  liobh  ;  cf.  Glenlyon,  G.  Ll'un,  primitive  Livona. 

200         PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

Sgurr  nam  Feartag — 'Peak  of  the  sea-pinks/ 
which  grow  there  (O.S.M.  Sgurr  na  Fiantag). 
From  it  comes  Coire  Bhanaidh,  c£  Achvanie. 

Eagon  (2260) — A  hill ;  probably  a  formation  from 
eag,  a  notch  ;  '  Place  of  the  Notch,  or,  of  Notches." 

Moruisg  (3026)— G.  Morusg  ;  first  part  is  mor, 
great,  the  strong  accent  on  which  has  reduced  the 
second  part  to  obscurity. 

Poll  Druineachain — On  the  stream  that  twice 
crosses  the  Dingwall  road,  near  the  junction  with 
it  of  the  road  from  Strathcarron  Station.  The 
more  easterly  of  the  bridges  is  Drochaid  Poll 
Druineachain  ;  the  other  is  Drochaid  na  h-  Uamh- 
ach,  Cave- Bridge.  Between  that  and  the  head  of 
the  loch  is  Cladh  nan  Druineach,  Burial-place  of 
the  ?  Druids,  where  cists  are  said  to  have  been 

Peitneane  1563 — Now  obsolete,  shows  Pictish 
influence.  There  is  still  Pitalmit  in  Glenelg,  G. 
Bail'  an  Ailm. 



Applecross — "  Malruba  fundavit  ecclesiam  Apor- 
crosan  673"  (Tighernac's  Annals).  This  is  also 
the  form  which  occurs  in  the  Aberdeen  Breviary ; 
but  Ablecross  1275  (Theiner  Vet.  Mon.).  The 
old  forms  show  the  meaning  to  be  '  estuary  of  the 
Crosan/  and  the  best  native  authority  available 
to  me  gave  the  name  of  the  Applecross  river  as 
Abhainn  Crosan.  There  is  also  a  field  by  the 
river  side  known  as  Crosan,  and  entered  under 
that  name  in  the  valuation  roll.  Crosan  may 
be  a  genuine  old  river  name,  Crosona,  with 
which  cf.  the  E/iver  Crosa,  now  Creuse,  a 
tributary  of  the  Vienne,  which  again  is  a 
tributary  of  the  Loire.1  The  parish,  how- 
ever, in  Gaelic,  is  always  spoken  of  as  'a' 
Chomraich,'  the  girth,  from  the  right  of  sanctuary, 
extending,  it  is  said,  for  six  miles  in  all  directions, 
possessed  by  the  monastery  founded  by  Malruba. 
'  In  Applecross '  is  idiomatically  '  air  [not  anns]  a' 
Chomraich."  The  minister  of  Applecross  is, 
however,  not  *  Ministir  na  Comraich,"  but,  logi- 
cally enough,  '  Ministir  a'  Chlachain  '  (Minister  of 
the  Clachan),  and  the  hill  behind  the  church  and 

1  The  usual  explanation  of  Crosan  is  "  Place  of  Crosses."  This  would,  of 
course,  imply  that  the  name  was  given  subsequent  to  the  arrival  of  the 
Christian  settlers,  a  rather  difficult  supposition  in  view  of  the  Pictish  '  aber.* 
The  word  is  more  likely  to  be  Pictish  throughout. 

202        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND   CROMARTY. 

manse  is  Beinn  a'  Chlachain,  the  '  clachan ' 
denoting  primarily  the  cell  or  the  church  of  stone 
used  by  the  early  missionaries.  Ecclesiastically 
there  is  no  spot  in  Ross,  nor,  indeed,  with  the 
exception  of  lona,  in  Scotland,  more  venerable 
than  the  churchyard  of  Applecross,  which  con- 
tains, according  to  Dr  Reeves,  the  site  of  that 
monastic  settlement  which  was  founded  by 
Malruba,  and  from  which  he  laboured  as  the 
Apostle  of  the  North.  Malruba's  grave  is  still 
pointed  out,  marked  by  two  low  round  pillar 
stones,  and  within  a  yard  or  two  of  the  spot  so 
marked  there  was  excavated,  in  the  incumbency 
of  the  late  minister,  what  appears  from  the 
present  indications  to  have  been  a  cist  burial. 
Nor  has  the  belief,  mentioned  by  Dr  Reeves,  died 
out,  that  the  possession  of  some  earth  from  the 
saint's  tomb  ensures  safety  in  travelling,  and  a 
return  to  Applecross.  The  sculptured  stone  on 
the  left  as  one  enters  the  graveyard,  known  as 
'  Clach  Ruairidh  mhoir  Mhic  Caoigean,'  has  been 
described  by  Dr  Reeves  ;  but  he  did  not  see  the 
beautifully  carved  fragments  of  a  cross  shaft 
which  are  built  into  the  wall  of  the  small  chapel- 
like  building  at  the  east  side,  showing  spiral, 
fret,  and  interlaced  ornament. 

It  is  said  that  when  the  present  church  was 
built  several  carved  stones  were  buried  under  the 
gravel,  path  near  the  south  wall. 

The  Strath  of  Applecross  is  '  Srath  Maol- 
chaluim' — Strath  of  Malcolm.  This,  which  is 


the  name  given  by  the  oldest  inhabitants,  is 
being  corrupted  into  '  Srath  Maor-chaluim,'  or, 
worse  still,  'Cul-chaluim.' 

The  holy  well  by  the  roadside,  west  of  Apple- 
cross  House,  is  unfortunately  nameless.  Near  it 
are  the  four  trees  in  the  form  of  an  oblong,  which, 
with  a  (supposed)  crab-apple  tree  in  the  centre, 
were  absurdly  propounded  as  the  origin  of  the 
name  Applecross.  This  is  the  supposed  site  of 
Malruba's  cell,  and  is  called  Lagan  na  Comraich, 
the  little  hollow  of  the  sanctuary. 

Rudha  nan  Uamhag — Promontory  of  the  hollows, 
or  the  small  caves,  the  most  southerly  point  of 
Applecross  ;  named  from 

UagS — G.  Na  h-Uamhagan,  the  hollows.  It  is  a 
tiny  township. 

Toscaig — Toskag  1662;  G.  Toghscaig  (close  o) ; 
'  t-hauga-skiki/  how-strip  ;  '  hauga,'  a  cairn,  bar- 
row, how.  There  is  also  Abhainn  Thoghscaig, 
the  river  of  Toscaig,  and  Loch  Thoghscaig,  the 
loch  of  Toscaig. 

Coillegillie— G.  Coille-ghillidh,  Gilli's  wood. 

An  Airde  Bhail — The  white  promontory  ;  also  Sron 
na  h-airde  bhan,  nose  of  the  same. 

Culduie— G.  Cuil-duibh  (locative),  the  black  nook. 

Am  Poll  Creadhaich  (O.S.M.  Poll  creadha)— Clay 

Oamusterach  —  G.  Camas-teirach  ;  am  Macan 
earach,  north  of  it,  on  the  shore,  is  a  rock 
column.  Probably  Camas(t)-earach,  Easter  bay, 
with  developed  t ;  cf.  an  drast  for  an  trath-s'. 

204        PLACE-NAMES   OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

Camusteel — G.  Carnas-teile  ;  ?  Linden  Bay,  from 
G.  teile,  borrowed  from  Latin  tilia,  a  linden 

Milton  —  G.  Bail'  a'  mhuilinn  ;  also  Loch  a' 

An  Fhaoilinn — The  beach-field,  opposite  the  manse 
of  Applecross.  Behind  it  is  Cadha  na  Faoilinn, 
pass  of  the  '  faoilinn.' 

Applecross  Mains — Of  old  Borrodale,  from  N. 
borgr,  a  burg  or  stronghold,  and  dalr,  a  dale  ; 
'  Fort-dale ' ;  Gaelic  curiously  accents  the  second 
syllable,  which  suggests  that  some  third 
element,  e.g.  a,  river,  has  to  be  reckoned  with. 
Near  this  appears  to  have  been  Sardale, 
muddy  dale.  A  third  Norse  name  in  dale  is 
Coire  Sgamadail,  Corry  of  Scamadale,  from 
N.  Skam-dalr,  Short-dale.  It  is  west  from  Coire 
nan  aradh,  Ladder  Corry.  Langwell,  Longfield. 

Hartfield — G.  Coille-mhuiridh,  wood  of  the  bul- 
wark ;  murach,  place  of  the  mur,  or  rampart, 
bulwark,  which  here  would  serve  to  keep  the 
river  to  its  channel.  A  local  song  has  '  Coille- 
mhuiridh  da  thaobh  na  h-aibhn' ' — on  both  sides 
of  the  river.  DrRee  ves  takes  it  to  be  '  Coille 
Mhourie,'  Malruba's  wood,  but  accent  and  quantity 
combine  to  make  this  impossible.  Near  the 
keeper's  house  is  a  pool  called  Poll  a'  bhior  or 
a?  Bhior-pholl ;  bior  is  an  old  Ir.  word  glossed 
'water'  and  'well';  'Well-pool.' 

An  t-allt  M6r,  big  burn,  comes  down  opposite.  Its 
head  branches  are  Allt  a  chuirn  dheirg,  irom  Carn 


Dearg,  Red  Cairn  (2119),  and  An  t-allt  granda, 

ugly  burn. 

Maol  an  llillt  mhoir — Bare  hill  of  the  big  burn. 
Ooire    Attadale — Corry    of    Attadale.      Attadale 

seems  to  have  been  the  Norse  name  of  what  is 

now  called   Srath-Mhaol-Chaluim.      It  is  a  very 

wild  corry,  branching  off  at  right  angles  from  the 

head  of  Srath-Maol-Chaluim.     G.  Coire  Atadail ; 

cf.  Attadale,  in  Lochcarron. 

An  Cma'ruigh — Hard  slope,  west  of  the  manse. 
Rudha  na  guaille — Shoulder-promontory  ;  also  Allt 

na  guaille. 

Allt  na  mucarachd — Burn  of  the  piggery. 
Allt  Tausamhaig   (O.S.M.   Allt  sabhsach)— Norse 

'  t-hausa-vik,'  skull  bay. 
Cruinn-leum,  the  round  leap,  is  a  narrow,  rounded 

bay  ;  cf.  the  common  Cuing-leum,  narrow  leap,  in 

English  Coylum. 
Sand — G.  *  sannd/  Norse  '  sand.'     Behind  it  is 

Am  meall  gaineamhach — Sandy  hill. 

Salachar  (final  '  a'  open),  on  a  small  burn ;  an 
extension  of  '  sailech,'  willow  ;  with  meaning 
*  place  of  willows '  ;  cf.  Croch-ar,  place  of  the 
gallows  ;  also  the  common  Sal] achy.  There  are, 
I  am  told,  no  willows  now. 

Ard  na  claise  moire— Point  of  the  big  gully. 

Lonban — G.  An  Lon  ban,  white  damp  meadow  ; 
near  it  are  Rudha  na  mbine,  peat  point ;  and 
Allt  na  moine,  peat  burn.  Near  Lonban  is  a 
cave  on  the  sea  shore  called  an  Eiginn  (e), 
perhaps  meaning  *  the  place  of  resort  in  danger.7 

206        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

Calnakil — Culnakle  1662 — Harbour  of  the  cell;  an 
old  church  name.  G.  Cal  na  cille. 

Cuaig — Norse  *  kua-vik,'  cow  bay ;  the  bay  is  now 
6  6b  Chuaig.'  There  are,  besides  ths  bay  and 
township,  rudha  Chuaig,  abhainn  Chuaig  (the 
latter  from  Loch  gaineamhach).  and  eileari 

Rudha  na  fearna— Alder  point. 

Ob  na  h-Uamha  —  Cave  bay  ;  also  Creag  na 
h-  Uamha,  rock  of  the  cave.  The  cave  in  question 
is  on  the  east  side  of  the  headland,  facing  the 
north-eastern  bight  of  Ob  na  h-Uamha,  and  is 
called  an  Uaimh  Shiannta,  the  charmed  or 
tabooed  cave.  The  most  northerly  point  of  Apple- 
cross,  Sron  an  larruinn,  iron  point,  wrongly 
given  on  the  O.S.M.  as  Rudha  na  h-Uamha, 
which  latter  name  belongs  to  the  headland  that 
projects  north-westward  into  Ob  na  h-Uamha. 

Fearnmore  and  Fearnbeg — "The  Famacks  Litill 
and  Meikil"  (Ret.):  big  and  little  Fearn ;  from 
'  fearna,'  alder.  The  two  places  are  commonly 
called  na  Fearnan. 

Faingmore,  and   Eoinn  an  fhaing   mhoir— Big 

farik  and  big  fank  point. 

Rudh'  a*  chamais  ruaidh — Red  bay  point. 

Sgeir  an  coin  (O.S.M.,  Sgeir  neonach) — Bird  skerry. 

Airigh  nan  Cruineachd  (O.S.M.,  Arrin-a-chruin- 

ach) — '  Cruineachd,'  wheat,  as  the  writer  of  the 
Old.  Stat.  Ace.  saw,  is  out  of  the  question  ;  and 
we  can  hardly  escape  the  conclusion  that  here  we 
have  to  do  with  the  Cruithne,  the  Gaelic  name  of 


the  Picts.  Cf.  An  Carnan  Cruineachd,  in  Kintail. 
The  Old  Stat.  Ace.  says  "  Arenacrionuic,  literally, 
sheiling  of  wheat,  is  clearly  a  corruption  of 
'  arenan  Drumich,'  of  the  Druids,"  which  is  still 
the  popular  notion.  There  is  another  place  of 
this  name  near  Scourie. 

Camas  an  eilein — Island  bay  ;  the  island  is  An 
garbh  eilean,  the  rough  island,  called  in  O.S.M. 
Eilean  mor.  Further  on  is  Glas  sgeir,  grey 

Kenmore — G.  a'  Cheannmhor  ;  ceannmhor  (Ir. 
cend-mor  or  cendmar)  means  '  big-headed ' ;  cf. 
ceanndearg,  red-headed.  This  adjective  seems  to 
be  here  used  as  a  noun  fern.  The  G.  of  Kenmore 
in  Perthshire  is  the  same,  and  both  are  accented 
on  the  first  syllable.  Sron  na  Ceannmhoir,  Ken- 
more  Point. 

Loch  Craiceach,.  or  Loch  a*  chraicich  (O.S.M., 
Loch  Creageach) — '  Craiceach  '  or  '  croiceach  ' 
means  (1)  rising  into  foam  ;  (2)  full  of  cast  sea- 
weed (H.S.D.) ;  and  the  latter  meaning  suits 
very  well  here.  At  the  head  of  the  loch  is  an 
Craiceach ,  the  place  where  the  sea- weed  collects. 

Ardheslaig— ?  Ardestag  1662  ;  G.  Ard-heisleag  ; 
Norse  '  hesla-vik/  hazel  bay  ;  thus,  with  Gaelic 
'  ard '  prefixed,  meaning  point  of  the  hazel  bay. 

Sron  a'  mhais— Point  of  the  buttock  ;  mas  Aird- 
heisleig  and  mas  Diabaig  or  mas  na  h-Araird 
opposite  it,  two  great  ice-smoothed  and  rounded 
rocky  promontories,  are  known  as  An  da  mhas, 
the  two  buttocks. 

208         PLACE-NAMES   OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

Ob  na  h-acairseid — Bay  of  the  anchorage ;  a  narrow 
cleft  in  the  eastern  side  of  Ardheslaig. 

Inverbane — G.  an  In'ir-ban,  white  estuary ;  the 
outlet  of  the  Abhairm  Dhubh  from  Loch  Lundie. 

Rhuroin — Seal  point. 

Doire-aonar — Lonely  copse  ;  and  Ceann  locha,  loch 
head,  at  head  of  Loch  Sbieldaig. 

Shieldaig — G.  Sildeag,  Norse  '  sild-vik,'  herring 
bay  ;  the  herrings  are  not  now  as  numerous  as 
they  were.  There  is  another  Shieldaig  in  Gair- 
loch.  In  Shieldaig  Bay  is  Eilean  ShUdeig,  with 
Clach  na  h-Armaid,  Stone  of  the  mother-church, 
facing  the  village,  the  name  of  a  mass  of  rock 
which  fell  from  the  cliff  above,  and  said  to  be 
modern.  Behind  the  village  is  Gascan,  G.  an 

O  ' 

Gasgan,  the  little  tail,  extremity ;  applied  to  a 
place  where  a  plateau  ends  in  an  acute  angle  and 
narrows  down  to  the  vanishing  point ;  cf.  Gask. 
On  the  north  side  of  Ben  Shieldaig  is  Crvag 
Challdris,  or  rather  Challdarais,  rock  of  the 
gloomy  hazel  wood ;  G.  call,  hazel,  and  dubhras, 
a  dark  wood.  An  Corran,  the  Point. 

Bail'  a*  Mhinistir — Minister's  town ;  Camas  an 
leum,  Bay  of  the  leap  ;  Camas  ruadh,  Red  bay ; 
all  on  east  side  of  Loch  Shieldaig. 

Badcall — Hazel-chump  ;  inside  the  narrows  (O.S.M., 

Casaig — On  east  side  of  Loch  Shieldaig,  is  a  per- 
pendicular rock ;  from  cas,  steep,  '  the  little 
steep  one.' 

Eilean  a7  chaoil— Strait  isle,  at  entrance  to  Loch 
Torrid  on. 


Doir'  a'  chlaiginn — Skull  copse  ;  the  '  claigionn ' 
is  an  ice-rounded  hill. 

Ob  'mheallaidh — Deceitful  bay  ;  it  is  dangerous 
owing  to  large  boulders.  Its  south-west  angle 
is  Camas  da  Phaidein,  Bay  of  two  Patons  or 

Camas  a'  chlarsair— Harper's  bay. 

Balgy — Balgy  1624  ;  G.  Balgaidh  ;  a  township  near 
the  mouth  of  the  river  Balgy,  from  Loch  Damh ; 
'bubbly  stream.'  Of.  Strathbogy,  G.  Srath- 
bhalgaidh.  Balgy  is  a  fairly  common  stream 

Badan  Vugie  (Mhugaidh) — As  the  article  is  not 
prefixed,  the  second  part  is  probably  a  proper 
name  ;  perhaps  Mungo's  little  clump. 

Ob  gorm  beag  and  Ob  gorm  mor — Little  and  big 
green  bay  ;  two  pretty  inlets,  near  Dubh-airde 
(Duart),  black  point. 

Camas  Drol — Rather  Camas  Trol ;  the  burn  falling 
into  it  rises  in  Coire  Rol,  and  is  called  Allt  Coire 
Rol ;  G.  rol,  a  roaring  noise  ;  the  burn  runs  a  very 
steep  course  over  numerous  boulders.  The  name 
of  the  bay,  Camas  Trol,  probably  contains  the 
same  word  with  t  developed  between  5  and  r. 

Annat — G.  an  Annaid,  '  the  mother  church,'  with 
an  ancient  grave-yard  and  chapel ;  dedication 
unknown.  Behind  it  is  Beinn  na  h-Eaglaise, 

An  t-Ath  Darach — The  oak  ford;  below  Annat 


210        PLACE-NAMES    OF   BOSS    AND    CKOMARTY. 

Loch  Neimhe — (O.S.M.  Loch  nam  Fiadh) ;  from  its 
situation  can  hardly  be  connected  with  neimhidh, 
seen  in  Dalnavie,  &c.  Lhuyd  gives  neimh, 
brightness  (dealradh),  which  would  give  good 
sense  :  '  Gleaming  Loch  '  ;  cf.  Loch  Loyne.  From 
it  comes 

Abhainn  Traill— Cf.  Poll  Traill,  Monar ;  this  rather 
obscure  name  may  be  from  traill,  a  trough 
(Lhuyd),  a  loan  from  Lat.  trulla.  l  Trough  pool r 
is  good  sense,  nor  is  (  Trough  river '  inappropriate. 

Torridon — Torvirtayne  1464  ;  Torrerdorie  1584  ; 
G.  Toir(bh)eartan  ;  cf.  Ir.  tairbhert,  to  transfer, 
carry  over,  the  infinitive  of  tairbrim ;  this  would 
give  the  meaning  of  '  Place  of  transference/  with 
reference  to  the  portage  from  the  head  of  Loch 
Torridon  through  Glen  Torridon  to  Loch  Maree. 
It  can  hardly  come  direct  from  G.  tairbeart,  a 
portage,  as  the  l>  of  '  tairbeart '  never  aspirates. 
The  name  applies  specially  to  the  strip  of  land  at 
the  head  of  the  loch. 

Liathach  (3456),  pronounced  Liathghach,  the  gh 
developing  naturally;  'the  hoary  place.'  The 
name  is  more  appropriate  to  Beinn  Eighe,  which, 
except  for  the  deep  gash  separating  the  two,  is  a 
continuation  of  Liathach  towards  Kinlochewe, 
and,  enveloped  in  hoary  gray  screes,  forms  a 
striking  contrast  to  the  ruddy  tiers  and  buttresses 
of  its  neighbour.  A  common  derivation  is 
Liaghach,  place  of  the  ladle  or  ladles,  but  this 
seems  merely  absurd.  An  Rathan,  l  the  pulley/ 
designates  two  jagged  stumps  of  rock  near  the 


top  of  the  mountain,  and  seen  from  the  sky -line 
from  the  head  of  Loch  Torridon.  '  Hathaii '  is 
the  local  name  for  the  grooved  pulley  at  the  end 
of  the  spindle  of  a  spinning  wheel  which  receives 
the  driving  cord.  Another  place-name  at  Torridon 
contains  the  word.  The  ridge  falling  eastwards 
from  the  highest  point  of  Ben  Alligin  is  deeply 
notched  three  times,  so  that  it  presents  a  serrated 
outline  of  three  peaks  and  notches,  and  these  are 
named  na  Rathanan,  '  the  pulleys.' 

Liathach  's  a  mac  air  a  muin. 

Liathach  with  her  son  on  her  back. 

Spidean  a'  Choire  L6ith,  Pinnacle  of  the  gray 
corry,  is  the  highest  peak  of  Liathach. 

Sgorr  a'  Chadail — Sleep  scaur. 

Fasag — G.  Am  fasag,  a  hardened  form  of  the 
O.  Gael.  '  fasadh/  a  dwelling ;  cf.  An  Crom- 
fhasag  (Cromasag),  near  Kinlochewe  ;  Fasnakyle, 
Fassiefern,  Dochanassie,  the  Perthshire  Foss, 
Teanassie,  etc. 

Am  ploc,  or  Ploc  an  Doire — The  lump,  or  lump  of 

the  grove,  a  small  rounded  projection  with  narrow 
neck  extending  into  the  loch.     It  has  an  arrange- 
ment  of  stone   seats,    once    used    for    open   air 
services.     Cf.  Plockton. 
Ooire  mbic  Cromuil,  also  Coire  mhic  N6buill. 

Corrivicromble  1793;  Corrivicknobill  1633,  1672, 
Corrivicknoble  1668,  1672,  1741  ;  these  forms  go 
to  prove  Coire  mhic  Nobuill  to  be  the  older  form 
of  the  name.  MacNoble  was  a  common  surname, 
though  now  only  Noble. 

212        PLACE-NAMES    OF    ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

Beinn  Dearg  (2995) — Bed  Hill;  west  of  which  is 
Beinn   Ailiginn  (3232) — Ben  of  Alligin  ;  there  is 

also  the  township  of  Alligin  and 
Inveralligin  —  G.  Inbhir-ailiginn,  which  proves 
Alligin  to  be  a  stream  name.  It  is  usually 
connected  with  ailleag,  a  jewel,  a  pretty  woman, 
which  may  possibly  be  correct ;  but  the  single  I  in 
ailiginn  is  a  serious  difficulty. 

An  t-Alltan  Labhar — The  loud  little  burn,  from 
Loch  na  Beiste,  the  Monster's  Loch.  O.S.M.  Allt 

An  Lagaidh  dhubh  (O.S.M. ,  Lagan  dubh)— The 
.  black  hollow,  a  patch  of  land  among  the  rocks, 
facing  seawards.     North  of  it  is 

Port  Laire — Port  of  Lair  ;  Lair  is  the  name  of  the 
place,  meaning  probably  here  '  low  place.' 

An  Araird — The  Fore-headland  ;  G.  air,  aird  ;  cf. 
Urard  at  Killiecrankie,  at  the  junction  of  Tummel 
and  Garry. 

Creag  nan  caolan — Gut-rock,  between  Araird  and 
Port  Lair,  so  called  from  pegmatite  veins  in  it. 

Diabaig  —  Norse  '  djup-vik,'  deep  bay ;  cf.  the 
numerous  Dibidales.  The  bay  itself  is  deep,  and 
is  surrounded  by  hills.  Its  remoteness  and 
security  are  indicated  by  the  saying — "  'S  fhada 
bho  'n  lagh  Diabaig,  's  fhaide  na  sin  sios 
Mealabhaig" — Far  from  the  law  is  Diabaig,  yet 
farther  is  Melvaig.  "  A  far  cry  to  Lochow." 

We  shall  now  take  the  principal  names  of  the 
interior  of  Applecross,  which  have  not  yet  been 


A'  Bhinn  Bhan  (2936)— The  white  hill  ;  the  highest 
in  Applecross  proper. 

The  corries  on  the  north  side  of  A'  Bhinn  Bhan 
are — Coire  Each,  Horse  corry ;  Coire  na  Fedla, 
Flesh  corry ;  Coire  na  Poite,  Caldron  corry ; 
Coire  an  Fhamhair,  Giant's  corry  ;  all  magnificent 

Sgurr  a'  Chaorachain  (2539)— (O.S.M.,  Sgorr  na 
Caorach).  Based  on  '  caoir,'  a  blaze  of  fire,  with 
the  secondary  meaning  of  torrent.  The  mountain 
is  extremely  steep  on  the  Kishorn  side. 

Meall  Aoghaireachaidh  (O.S.M.,  Meall  an  fhir- 
eachari) — '  Hill  of  shepherding.'  It  is  N.E.  of 
Beinn  a'  Chlachain,  and  marks  the  spot  where 
the  green  plain  of  Srath  Maol-chaluim  changes 
into  the  bleak  uplands  of  Applecross.  Near  it  is 
Meall  nan  doireachan,  hill  of  the  copses. 

Eas  nan  Cllinneag — Waterfall  of  the  buckets,  in  a 
dangerous  gorge  beside  the  path  at  the  head  of 
Applecross  Glen.  The  buckets  are  pot-holes. 
Cf.  Carn  Cuinneag,  in  Rosskeen. 

Fuaid,  or  an  Fhuaid  (O.S.M.  Meall  na  h-uaidne)— 
'Fuat'  appears  in  the  Lecan  glossary  as  'bier.' 
There  is  a  Sliabh  Fuait  in  Ireland. 

At  its  foot,  not  far  from  the  path,  is  Uamh  an 
righ,  the  king's  cave, 

Crdic  bheinn— Antler-hill. 

Staonag— The  bent  or  crooked  hill,  E.  of  Loch 
Lundie  ;  a  fern,  diminutive  from  staon,  bent. 

Loch  Lundie — G.  Loch  Lunndaidh,  a  Pictish  name  ; 
v.  Maoil  Lunndaidh,  Contin. 

214        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND   CROMARTY. 

Loch    Gobach    (O.S.M.    Loch   Ceopach)-— Snouted 

Loch  na  maola  fraochaich  (O.S.M.  Loch  Meall 

an  fhraoich) — Loch  of  the  heathery  brow. 

Loch  na  h-oidhche  (O.S.M.  Loch  na  h-eangaich)— 
Night  loch.  The  name  is  common,  and  is  applied 
to  lochs  that  fish  best  at  night.  It  is  near  the 
bigger  of  the  two  lochs  Gaineamheach. 

Coire  nan  aradh  (' dh' hardened  to  'g')— O.S.M. 

Coire  nam  faradh ;  ladder  cony.  Through  it  there 
was  once,  before  the  Bealach  road  was  formed,  a 
ladder-like  path  ascending  by  tiers  of  steps  in  the 
rocky  face. 

Bealach  an  t-SUidhe — Pass  of  sitting  or  resting; 
the  route  of  pedestrians  between  Applecross  and 

Am  Bealach — The  gap  or  pass,  or  Bealach  nam  Bo, 
Pass  of  Kine,  is  the  name  of  that  remarkable  road, 
rising  among  barren  rocks  and  frowning  precipices 
to  a  height  of  2054  feet,  which  affords  the  only 
means  of  entrance  to  Applecross  by  land. 

Loch  an  loin — Loch  of  the  damp  meadow.  It  is 
really  part  of  the  larger 

Loch  Coultrie — G.  Loch  Caoltraidh,  Loch  of  the 
narrow  place,  an  extension  of  '  caol,'  narrow,  with 
developed  '  t ' ;  '  caolt-ar-adh.'  Of.  '  bog-ar-adh,' ; 
Kildary.  Caoltraidh  is  at  the  south  end  of  the 

Loch  Damh  and  Beinn  Damh— Stag  loch  and  hill. 
Beinn  Damh  gives  its  name  to  the  deer  forest. 
Also  Doire  Damh,  Stag  thicket. 


Srath  a*  Bhathaich — Byre-strath,  opening  on  to 
Loch  Damh.  Cf.  Strathvaich,  in  Contin.  Net 
Mulcanan,  innumerable  hillocks  filling  part  of 
Strathvaich,  exactly  resembling  the  Coire  Ceud 
Chnoc  formation  in  Glen  Torridon.  Mulcan  is 
used  in  common  speech  as  equivalent  to  bucaid, 
a  pustule  ;  hence  na  mulcanan  means  the  little 

Loch  Dughall — Dougald's  Loch,  in  Glen  Shieldaig. 

Sgiirr  na  bana-mhorair — The  Lady's  scaur ;  the 
lady  was  placed  on  the  top  of  it  by  her  cruel  lord, 
and  fed  with  shell-fish.  The  shells  may  still  be 
seen  ! 

Loch  Uaill — Proud  loch  ;  above  it  is  Meall  Loch 
Uaill,  in  O.S.M.  Meall  a'  Ghuail,  Coal  or  Charcoal 
hill — a  very  natural  mistake,  which  is  corrected 
with  certainty  only  from  the  name  of  the  loch. 

Na  Botagan  and  Creag  nam  Botag — There  are 

three  little  flats,  terraced  one  above  the  other,  at 
the  foot  of  the  rock  (creag).  The  natives  assert 
the  meaning  to  be  '  the  little  flats ' ;  but  bota 
locally  means  a  wet  or  soft  channel  in  a  peat 
moss.  Cf.  Bottacks  at  Achterneed. 

Loch  na(m)  Frianach — Loch  of  the  place  of  roots  ; 
also  Cadha  na  Frianach,  Path  of  the  same  ;  cf. 
Sron  na  Frianaich  in  Contin. 

Airigh  nan  Druineach— Shieling  of  the  ?  Druids ; 
cf.  Carn  nan  seachd  Druineachan  in  Glenfintaig, 
and  Poll  Druineachan,  etc.,  in  Lochcarron. 

Loch  an  Turaraich — (O.S.M.,  Loch  an  Treudaich), 
also  Creag  an  Turaraich,  Loch  and  Rock  of  the 
rumbling  or  rattling  noise. 

216        PLACE-NAMES    OF    ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

Rassal— Rassor  1583  ;  Rassoll  1633  ;  G.  Rasal ;  N. 
hross-voflr,  Horse-field  ;  cf.  Rossal  in  Sutherland. 

Russel  —  Ressor  1583;  G.  Riseail ;  N.  hryssa-vollr, 
Mare -field. 

Aridrishaig —  G.  an  airigh  dhriseach,  thorny 

Crowlin  Islands — G.  Cr61aig,  but  also  Crolainn  ; 
An  Linne  Chrolaigeach,  the  pool  of  Crowlin, 
between  these  islands  and  Scalpay. 

Coire  Ceud  Chnoc — Corry  of  a  hundred  knolls,  on 
the  road  between  Kinlochewe  and  Torridon.  The 
corry  is  literally  packed  with  small  rounded 
hillocks,  a  formation  seen  often  elsewhere  in  the 
Highlands,  but  nowhere  perhaps  in  such  per- 
fection. Cf.  Na  Mulcanan. 

Allt  nan  Corp — A  tributary  of  Abhainn  Traill  ; 
Burn  of  the  Bodies,  to  wit,  bodies  of  clay,  placed 
there  for  evil  purposes  of  magic. 

Cadha  nan  Sgadan— The  part  of  the  path  leading 
to  Strathcarron  on  the  slopes  of  Meall  Loch 
Uaill.  "Path  of  the  herrings";  cf. 
nan  Sgadan. 

Sgeir  an  t-Salainn — Skerry  of  the  salt.  A  rock, 
uncovered  at  low  water  only,  where  formerly,  it 
is  said,  the  fat  of  seals  and  porpoises  used  to  be 
melted  down. 

Port  an  t-Saoir — Wright's  haven. 

ToiT  Fhionnlaidh — Finlay's  rock,  where  a  Kintail 
man,  Finlay  Macrae,  who  hanged  himself,  is 

Greag  Raonailt — Rachel's  rock  ;  N.  Ragnhildr, 


Cos  Dubh  Bean  a'  Ghranndaich— The  black  nook 
of  Grant's  wife  ;  where  the  original  owner  of  the 
famed  Annat  skull  drowned  herself. 

Cam  an  t-Suidhe — Cairn  of  the  sitting,  about  half 
a  mile  west  of  Ben  Damph  Lodge,  said  by  local 
tradition  to  have  been  a  resting-place  of  Malruba's 
body  on  its  way  to  Applecross. 

Port  'ic-ghille-Chaluim  Rarsaidh— The  landing 
place  of  Macgilliecallum  of  Raasay.  This  is  the 
little  bay  where  the  Hon.  Capt.  Lionel  F.  King- 
Noel's  boathouse  is.  There  seems  to  have  been  a 
skirmish  here  once  with  the  Raasay  men.  An 


Annat  man,  whose  son  and  house  had  been  burnt 
by  the  Raasay  band,  is  said  to  have  performed 
some  destructive  archery  practice  from  Sgeir  na 
Saighid,  killing  a  whole  boat-load  by  himself! 

Am  Mol  M6r — The  great  shingle  bank,  between 
Annat  and  mouth  of  Torrid  on  river.  Also  called 
Faoilinn  na  h-Annaite,  sea  beach  of  Annat. 

Na  Campaichean — The  Camps  ;  two  narrow  dells 
running  from  Port  an  t-Seobhaic,  Hawk's  port, 
and  Ob  na  Caillich,  Old  Woman's  Bay  (or  Nun's 
Bay).  This  bay  is  also  called  an  t-ob  Laghaich, 
the  muddy  bay  (for  lathaich). 

Cadha  na  Mine,  path  of  the  meal,  is  to  be  taken 
along  with  Glac  dhubh  a1  Cliais,  the  dark  hollow 
of  the  cheese,  and  Bac  nan  Cisteachan,  the  ridge 
of  the  chests,  all  just  above  Annat.  After  the 
Rebellion  of  1745  a  Government  vessel  entered 
Loch  Torridon,  and  the  people,  though  they  are 
said  to  have  been  neutral,  thought  it  wise  to 

218        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

;'   remove   themselves   and  their  gear  from  harm's 

way.     Hence  these  names. 
Airigh  nam  Bard — Shieling  of  the  Bards,  possibly 

of  the  meadows  ;  but  it  is  high  up. 
Tunna   Beag— The   little    cask,    a    small    rock    on 

Sail  na  Beinne  Bige,  a  spur  of  Ben  Damh,  from 

which  a  spring  rises,  making  a  noise  as  of  water 

working  about  in  a  cask. 

Garaidh  nam  Broc— The  badgers'  den. 

Toll  nam  Biast — Hole  of  the  monsters,  also  Spidean 

and  Stiic  Toll  nam  Biast  on  Ben  Damh. 
Allt   an    Turaraich  -  -  This   burn    makes    a  great 

rumbling  noise. 

Creag  an  Dath— The  dyeing  rock. 
Criathrach    Buidhe  —  The    yellow    marsh,    from 

criathar,  a  sieve  ;  hence  a  boggy  place. 
Gob  nan  Uisgeachan— The  point  (beak)  between 

the  waters  ;  a  confluence. 
Achadh  Cul-a-mhill— The  flat  field  at  the  back  of 

the  hill ;  at  Loch  an  Neimhe  ;  the  reputed  scene  of 

a   battle   between   the    Macleods   and   the   Mac- 

Spuic  nighean  Thormaid — The  peak  of  Norman's 

Meall  Gorm  or  Green  Dasses — A  steep  green  pass 

on  Ruadh-stac.     The  latter  name,  which  is  regu- 
larly used,  was  given  by  Lowland  shepherds  ;  dass 

means  a  hayrick. 
Loch  na  Cabhaig — Loch  of  the  hurry  ;  it  lies  in  a 

hollow  where  the  wind  is  always  unsteady,  and 

blows  the  water  from  side  to  side. 


Leathad  an  aon  Bhothain — The  slope  of  the  one 


Meall  na  Teanga  Fhiadhaich— The  hill  of  the 

wild  point. 

The  Stirrup  Mark — A  peculiar  mark  on  the  S.E. 
slope  of  Ben  Damh  below  the  high  top,  and  a 
well-known  landmark. 

Doire-mhaol-laothaich — Under  Liathach  by  the 
roadside  ;  also  called  Doirbhe-la(gli)aicJi,  popu- 
larly said  to  be  for  Doire  Blieul  Bhaothaich.  A 
curiosity  of  uncertainty. 

Boire  nain  Fuaran — Derrinafoiran  1668  ;  Spring- 

An  Doirneag — '  The  little  pebbly  one,'  a  field  con- 
taining many  rounded  pebbles,  at  the  N.W.  end 
of  an  Fhaoilinn,  the  beach-field,  wThich  latter  is 
next  the  shore  between  Torridon  Mains  and  the 
'  Ploc.' 

Mormhoich  a*  Choire — Sea  plain  of  the  Cony, 
west  of  mouth  of  Corry  River. 

220        PLACE-NAMES    OF    BOSS    AND    CROMARTY. 


Gairloch— Gerloth  1275,  Garloch  1574  ;  G.  an 
Gearr-loch,  the  Short  Loch ;  cf.  Gareloch.  A 
well  by  the  roadside  at  the  mouth  of  Abhainn 
Ghlas,  Gray  River,  is  affirmed  to  have  been  the 
original  Gairloch. 

Dibaig — Debak  1638  ;  G.  Diabaig  ;  N.  djup-vik, 
deep  bay.  Oirthir  Dhiabaig,  Coast  of  Dibaig. 

Craig — G.  a'  Chreag,  or  Creag  Ruigh  Mhorgain  ; 
the  Rock,  or  the  Rock  of  Morgan's  slope.  Morgan 
is  a  Pictish  name ;  Old  British,  Morcant,  '  sea- 
bright  ;'  Gaulish  Moricantos.  The  Craig  river 
runs  through  Braigh-Thaithisgil,  upper  part  of 
Taisgil.  In  Taithisgil  the  latter  part  is  N.  gil,  a 
ravine  ;  the  first  part  is  perhaps  genitive  of  haf, 
sea,  with  prefixed  £,  giving  t-hafs-gil,  sea-ravine. 

Allt,  Meall  and  Loch  na  h-Uamhach— Burn,  Hill 
and  Loch  of  the  Cave.  Between  the  burn  and 
Allt  na  Crlche,  Boundary  Burn,  is  a  stone  pillar 
called  An  Nighean  Liath,  the  gray  girl.  Near 
the  mouth  of  the  little  burn  is  Oirthir  an  Rudha, 
Coast  of  the  point,  off  which  is  Sgeir  an  Trithinn, 
Trinity  Skerry,  a  rock  in  the  sea  with  three 

Allt  Saraig — Burn  of  Saraig;  N.  saur-vik,  mud-bay. 

Red  Point — G.  an  Rudha  dearg  ;  but  sometimes 
called  an  Rudha  lachdunn,  the  dun  or  swarthy 


Port  an  Fhaithir  Mhoir — Harbour  of  the  great 

shelving  slope.  Faithir,  a  sharp  slope  with  a  flat 
place  at  top,  is  in  very  common  use  in  Gairloch 
and  Lochbroom  ;  ?  Ir.  fachair,  a  shelf  in  a  cliff ;  cf. 
Foyers,  Inverness,  G.  Foithir,  the  same  word.1 
On  the  West  Coast  faithir  is  applied  typically  to 
the  steep  slope  between  the  old  raised  beach, 
about  30  feet  high,  and  the  present  shore. 
The  north-west  point  of  this  peninsula  is  a' 
Chreag  Luathann,  Rock  of  Ashes,  with  a  peculiar 
genitive  form,  seen  also  in  Cnoc  na  h-athan 
(single  n)  in  Lochcarron  ;  Tom  na  h-athaimi, 
Strathnairn  ;  Mullach  na  h-Eagann  (eag,  a  notch), 
the  highest  point  of  Ben  Alligin. 

Bailesios — G.  am  Baile  Shios,  the  Lower  township, 
as  opposed  to  am  Baile  Shuas,  the  Upper  town- 

Allt  a'  Chaol-doire — Burn  of  the  narrow  copse. 

An  Tarbh — The  Bull,  primarily  the  name  of  a 
knoll,  but  extended  to  designate  the  coastland 
from  Bailesios  to  Erradale. 

South  Erradale --Erredell  1638;  G.  Earradal 
Shuas  or  Earradal  a  Deas  ;  N.  eyrar-dalr,  gravel- 
beach  dale.  Great  banks  of  gravel  extend  from 
here  to  Bailesios. 

Allt  Uamh  a*  Chleibh— Burn  of  the  Creel-cave  ; 
also  Creag  Uamh  a  Chleibh  and  Achadh  Uamh 
a'  Chleibh,  Rock  and  Field  of  the  same. 

An  t-Se61aid — A  skerry  north  of  the  mouth  of 
Abhainn  Ruadh,  Red  river.  There  is  another 

1  Foyers  is   the  name  of  the  place  ;  the  famous  fall  is  in  G.  Eas  na 
Smuicl,  Fall  of  Smoke,  i.e.,  spray. 

222        PLACE-NAMES   OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

Seblaid  near  Fearnmore,  Applecross.  Based  on 
seol,  sail,  with  extension  as  in  Bial-id  ;  Place  of 
sailing,  i.e.,  requiring  careful  navigation ;  or, 
Sailing  mark.  On  the  shore  adjacent  are  am 
Faithir  Mor  and  am  Faithir  JBeag,  the  big  and 
the  little  shelving  declivities, 

Openham — G.  na  h-6bainean,  the  little  bays  ;  G. 
6b,  borrowed  from  N.  hop. 

Creagan  na  Mi-chomhairle — Little  rock  of  bad 
counsel.  Two  men  quarrelled  and  fought  here. 
One  wished  to  stop  fighting,  but  the  other  would 
not,  and  both  were  killed. 

Cnoc  nan  Carrachan — Hill  of  wild  liquorice. 

Sroin  a*  Charr — Nose  of  the  projecting  rock ; 
cf.  Carr  Rock  in  Kintail. 

Camas  nam  P10C — Bay  of  the  lumpish  promon- 

Uamh  Fhreacadain — Cave  of  the  watch. 

An    Camas    Raintich— Fern   Bay ;    by-form    of 

An  SgUHiail — The  stack  ;  the  northernmost  point 

west  of  Port  Henderson. 
Port   Henderson — Galled  by  natives  Portigil,   N. 

port-gil,  gate-gully  ;  by  others  Port  an  Sgumain, 

Haven  of  the  Stack. 
A*    Chathair    Dhubh— The    black     fairy     knoll  ; 

between  the  above  and  Loch  nan  Eun,  Bird  Loch. 

N.E.  of  Port  Henderson  is  Cnoc  an  Sgath,  Hill  of 

the  fright. 
Sron  nam  Mult — Nose  or  point  of  the  wedders  ; 

Na  Muilt,  the  wedders,  are  three  skerries  that 

appear  at  ebb  off  the  coast. 

GAIRLOCH.  22  3- 

Badantionail — G.   Bad  an   Inneil  ;    Clump   of  the 

tackle,  or  instrument. 
Badachro—  G.  Bad  a  Chrotha,  Clump  of  the  Fold. 

Also  Caolas,  Meall,  Abhainn,  Eas  and  Loch  Bad 

a'  Chrotha,  Sound,    Hill,   River,   Waterfall,   and 

Loch  of  the  same. 
An  Uidh — The  outlet  to  the  sea  of  Loch  Bad  na 

h-Achlaise,  Loch  of  the  arm-pit ;  achlais  is  very 

common  in  place-names. 
An  Caochan  Fearna — The  alder  brooklet ;  caochan, 

from  caoch,  blind,  denotes  a  stream  so  small  as  to 

be  almost  covered  by  the  heather.     It  is  common 

in  Gairloch. 

Loch  nam  Breac-Athar — Loch  of  the  sky-trout, 
i.e.,  trout  that  were  supposed  to  have  fallen  in  a 
shower  ;  cf.  Creachann  nan  Sgadan.  (O.S.M., 
Loch  nam  Breac  Odhar). 

Badaidh  nan  Ramh— Little  clump  of  the  oars. 

Badaidh,  which  must  be  a  diminutive  of  bad,  is 
common.  Ramh,  a  root  (Arran),  long  root  as  of 
a  tree  (Perthshire) ;  not  so  used  in  Ross. 

Loch  Clair— Loch  of  the  flat, 

Loch  Sguata  Beag  and  Loch  Sguata  Mor;  cf. 

Glac  na  Senshesen,  which  appears  on  some  maps, 

is    Glac    nan   seani(nn)sean,    hollow   of    the    old 

haughs  or  inches  ;  cf.  Loch  na  Shanish,  Inverness. 
Doir*  an  Eala — Swan  copse ;   also  L6n  Dhoir'  an 

Eala,  Marsh  of  the  same,  and  Abhainn  Dhoir'  an 


224        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

An  t-Allt  Gillthas — Fir  burn  ;  the  formation  is  the 
regular  one  on  the  west  coast  here. 

Doireachan  nan  Gad — The  copses  of  withes. 

Braigh  Thoiriosdal — Upper  part  of  Horrisdale,  i.e., 
N.  Thorir's  dale.  Also  Loch  and  River  of  the 

Beinn  Bhric — Dappled  hill. 

Bus-bheinn — G.  Badhais-bhinn  (or  baoghais-bhinn, 
ao  short).  The  phonetics  do  not  admit  the  popu- 
lar explanation  *  Forehead  Hill/  G.  bathais.  The 
name  is  probably  a  hybrid  of  the  same  type  as 
Suilven,  Blaven,  Goatfell,  G.  Gaota-bheinn,  where 
Norse  fell,  a  wild  hill,  has  been  translated  into  G. 
beinn,  the  first  part  being  left  untranslated.  The 
G.  of  Loch  Boisdale  is  Loch  Bhaoghasdail,  or,  Loch 

Nead  an  E6in — Bird's  nest ;  a  safe  anchorage. 

Camas  na  h-Eirbhe— Bay  of  the  fence  or  wall. 
Eirbhe  is  in  O.  Ir.  airbe,  meaning  (1)  ribs  (2) 
fence.  It  occurs  often  in  Boss  and  Sutherland, 
e.g.,  Altnaharra  is  G.  Allt  na  h-Eirbhe,  burn  of  the 
wall.  Further  examples  will  occur  later.  On 
examination  it  will  be  found  that  wherever  this 
name  occurs  there  are  traces  of  an  old  wall 
stretching  through  the  moor  ;  some  of  these  walls 
are  of  great  length. 

Leac  nan  Saighead — Flat  rock  of  the  arrows.  The 
story  of  the  destructive  archery  practice  made 
from  it  is  to  be  found  in  Mr  Dixon's  '  Gairloch. ' 

Camasaidh — The  little  bay  ;  cf.  badaidh  above. 

An  Cobhan — The  little  recess  ;  it  is  a  sea  nook  ;  cf. 
Cavan,  in  Ireland. 


Shieldaig— G.  Sildeag;  N.  Sild-vik,  herring-bay; 
cf.  Shieldaig,  in  Applecross.  Also  the  hybrid 
name  Aird-shildeig,  Promontory  of  Shieldaig. 

Kerry  River — River  Kerne  1638  ;  G.  Abhainn 
Chearraidh,  N.  kjarr-a,  copse  river,  still  as 
descriptive  as  ever.  Also  Inverkerry,  G.  Inbhir- 
Chearraidh,  and  Loch  Kerry.  But  Kerrysdale  is 
in  G.  a'  Chathair  Bheag,  the  little  fairy  knoll  or 

Loch  Bad  na'  Sgalag — Loch  of  the  clump  of  the 

farm -workers. 

Loch  na  h-Oidhche— Night  loch,  with  large  trout 

which  take  only  at  night. 
Beinn  an  E6in — Bird-hill ;  common. 
An   Uidh    Phlubach— The    'plumping    channel,' 

between   Loch   Bad  na  Sgalag   and   Feur-Loch, 

grassy  loch. 

Loch  nam  Buaineachan  (also  Buannachan),  Loch 

of  the  Eeapers. 
Meall  Aundrary — G.  Meall  Andrairigh  ;   a  Norse 

formation ;    possibly    Andrew's   shieling,    Andres- 

erg  (erg  borrowed  from  Gaelic  airigh).     But  this 

should  give  Andrasairigh. 
Charlestown— G.  Baile  Thearlaich. 
Ob  Cheann  an  t-Saile— Kintail  Bay.    This  Kintail 

is  a  tiny  estuary,  and  at   the  bridge   there  was 

formerly  a  change-house. 
Flowerdale— G.  am  Baile  Mor,  Big-stead. 
Flowerdale  House— The  old  house  of  Gairloch  was 

called  an  Tigh  Dige,  Moat  House,  from  its  having 

been  surrouoded  by  a  ditch.     The  present  house 



is  called  Tigh  Dige  nan  Gorm  Leac,  Moat  House 

of  the  blue  flags,  i.e.,  slates.     Dialectically  Tigh 

Port    na   h-6ile ;    eile    is    most    probably    eibhle, 

genitive   of  eibheal,    a   live   coal ;    '  Port  of  the 

Ember  ; '  the  reference  is  lost. 
An  Dun — The  Fort ;  there  are  traces  of  such. 
Caisteil    na    Cloinne — The    Children's    Castle ;    a 

rock  full  of  holes  in  which  children  play. 
An  Crasg — The  crossing  ;  a  ridge  crossed  by  the 

Gairloch  Hotel — Its  site  is   in    G.    Achadh  Deu- 

thasdal,  Field  of  Deuthasdal,  an  obscure  N.  word. 
An  Cachaileath  Dearg— The  red  gate. 
Creagan  nan  Cudaigean— Cuddies'  Eock. 
Achtercairn —  Auchitcairne     1638;     G.     Achd-a'- 

charn,  Field  of  the  Cairn  ;  with  hardening  of  -adh 

to  -ag  in  achadh,  and  contraction. 
Leac  Roithridh — Eyrie's  flag-stone  ;    in   the  bay. 

Eoithridh  is  a  personal   name   still  in  use,   and 

stories    are    told    of    Coinneach    mac-Eoithridh. 

Cf.    Creag-Eoithridh    and   Toll-Eoithridh.1      The 

MacEyries  were  a  sept  of  the  Macdonalds. 
Poll  an  Doirbh— Pool   of  the   hand  line  ;  a  deep 

pool  at  the  mouth  of  the  stream  here.     N.  dorg. 
Loch  Airidh  Mhic  Criadh — G.  Loch  Airigh  Mac- 

Griadh,  Loch  of  the  shieling  of  the  sons  of  Griadh. 
Strath — G.  an  Srath. 
Mial— Meall  1566  ;  Meoll  with  the  mill  1638  ;  G. 

Miall    (two   syllables) ;    Norse    mjo-vollr,  narrow 

1  The«e  hare  bten  wrongly  explained  at  p.  12. 


field.     It  is  the  higher  ground  of  which  Strath  is 

the  lower  ;  cf.  Miavaig,  Lewis. 
Smithstown — G.  Bail'  a'  ghobha. 
Lonemore  --  G.    an    Lon   Mor,    the    great    damp 

Big  Sand  and  Little  Sand — The  two  Sandis  1638  ; 

G.  Sannda  Mhor  agus  Sannda  Bheag  ;  N.  Sand  ; 

cf.  the  common  Shandwick  or  Sandaig.     Near  Big 

Sand  is   Cathair  a    Phuirt,  Fairy  Knoll  of  the 


Longa  Island — Lunga  (Blaeu)  ;  N.  lung-ey,  ship- 
isle.  The  passage  between  it  and  the  mainland  is 

An  Caol  Beag,  the  little  narrow. 
North  Erradale — G.  Earradal  Shios  or  Earradal  a 

Tuath.     For  the  usage  of  sios,  cf.  Bailesios  above, 

and  for  meaning,  South  Erradale. 
Na  Feannagan  Glasa — The  Green  Rigs.     Feannag, 

from  G.  feann,  flay,  was  a  '  lazy-bed.'     (O.S.M., 

Fannachain  glas). 

Senabhaile — G.  an  Sean-bhaile,  old-town. 
Peterburn — G.  Alltan  Phadraig. 

Camas  nan  Sanndag— Sand-eel  Bay. 

A*  Chipeanoch — The  name  of  the  shore  lands  from 
Peterburn  (or  perhaps  from  N.  Erradale)  to 
Altgreshan  ;  a  derivative  of  G.  Ceap,  a  block,  a 
piece  of  ground. 

Altgreshan— Auldgressan  1638  ;  G.  Allt  Ghrlsean, 
i.e.,  grisionn,  or  gris-fhionn  ;  '  Brindled  Burn  ;' 
cf.  Inverbreakie. 

Melvaig  —  Malefage  1566;  G.  Mealabhaig ;  N. 
melar-vik  ;  melr  denotes  bent  grass,  or  a  sandy 


hillock  overgrown  with  bent  grass ;  vik,  bay. 
From  melr  we  get  the  G.  Mealbhan,  sandy  dunes 
with  bent  grass,  common  011  the  west.  In  Port- 
mahomack  '  mealbhan  '  means  bent  grass.  Also 
G.  mealach,  full  of  bent  grass ;  cf.  Lochan 
Mealaich  between  Strathy  and  Armadale,  in 

Port  nan  Amall — Harbour  of  the  yokes. 

An  Rudha  R6idh — The  smooth  point ;  the  north- 
westerly point  of  the  peninsula. 

An  t-Seann  Sgeir — Old  Skerry,  is  the  north  point 
of  Rudha  Reidh.  The  sound  of  the  sea  on  this 
rock  is  sometimes  heard,  it  is  said,  in  Glen 
Docharty,  Kinlochewe. 

Camustrolvaig — A  hybrid  ;  N.  troll-vik,  goblin 
bay,  with  G.  Camas,  a  bay,  prefixed.  It  is  still 
counted  a  most  uncanny  place. 

Abhainn  nan  Leumannan— Eiver  of  the  leaps. 

Abhainn,  river,  is  often  applied  to  quite  a  small 
stream  if  its  course  is  comparatively  smooth. 
Locha  Dring — (O.S.M.  Loch  an  Draing) ;  Tobar 
Dringaig,  at  its  south  end,  points  to  the  name 
being  Gaelic  ;  perhaps  a  personal  name  or  nick- 

Achadh  nan  Uirighean — Field  of  the  couches  or 

beds.       There     is,    I    think,    a    Fingalian     tale 


Bac  an  Leith-choin — Moss  of  the  Lurcher. 
Fura    Island  — G.     Eilean     Futhara;    Fura    also 

heard  ;    final   -a  is  Norse  ey,   island  ;    first  part 



Sgeir  Mhaoil-Mhoire— Myles'  skerry. 

Am  Bodha  Ruadh — The  red  sunken  rock,  a  very 
dangerous  shoal  skerry. 

Rudha  an  t-Sasain — A  wild  promontory  just  as 
one  enters  the  Minch.  Sasan  is  from  sas,  a  hold 
or  grip,  and  means  metaphorically  '  a  place  or 
thing  that  grips,'  i.e.,  a  point  difficult  to  get 
past ;  or,  where  lines  get  entangled. 

Cove — G.  an  Uaghaidh  ;  the  north  part  of  Cove  is 
Achadh  na  h-Uaghach,  meaning  '  Place  of  the 
Cave '  and  Field  of  the  Cave  respectively. 

Smiuthaig — N.  Smuga-vik,  Cave  bay.  Am  Faithir 
Mor  and  am  Faithir  Beag,  the  big  and  little 
shelving  declivity  ;  also  Gaineamhach  Smiuthaig, 
Sands  of  Smiuthaig. 

An  t-Eilean  Tioram — Dry  Island,  off  the  latter. 
Creag  Bean  an  Tighe— Housewife's  Rock ;  a  good 

place  for  fishing. 
Sguataig — To   be    connected    with    Loch    Sguata, 

which  is  inland  from  it.     There  are  three  lochs  of 

this  name  in  Gairloch,  all  of  which  have  tail-like 

ends  or  promontories,  which  suggests  N.   Skuti, 

to  project.     Sguataig  is  Sguat-bay. 
A'  Chathair  Ruadh— The  red  fairy  knoll. 
Stirkhill— G.  Meallan  a'  ghamhna,  the  Stirk  ;  an 

Gamhainn  is  a  rock. 
Inverasdale  —  Inveraspidill     1566  ;    Inverassedall 

1569  ;  Inveraspedell  1638  ;  Inner-absdill  (Blaeu)  ; 

G.    Inbhir-asdal,  a  hybrid  ;  G.    inbhir,    estuary  ; 

N.  aspi-dalr,  Aspen-dale,  from  osp,  the  aspen  tree. 

The  old   forms,   together   with    the   independent 

230        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

authority  of  Blaeu,  prove  that  the  modern  Gaelic 
is  a  contraction  with  compensatory  lengthening  of 
the  vowel  a. 

Coast — G.  an  t-Eirthire. 

Faithir  an  Roin — Shelving  declivity  of  the  seal. 

F6ith  Chuilisg — Bog  of  Cuilisg.  Cuilisg  was  a 
witch  who  ran  off  with  the  kettle  of  the  Feinne. 
Caoilte  caught  her  here,  and  the  kettle  spilled  in 
the  struggle,  causing  the  '  feith.'  The  Fenian 
'  coire '  was  kept  in  the  Feadan  mor,  the  big 

Brae — A'  Bhruthaich ;  behind  it  is  an  Leith-chreig, 
half-rock  ;  also  Creag  Chomhaidh. 

Loch  a*  Bhadaidh  Shamhraidh— Loch  of  the  little 
summer  clump.  An  Gead  Dubh,  the  black  rig,  is 
near  Brae  ;  also  Gead  a  Chois,  Rig  of  the  nook. 

Naast— The  Nastis  1638  ;  G.  Nast ;  doubtful.  We 
may  compare  the  Irish  Naas,  derived  from  nas,  a 
fair ;  t  would  easily  develop.  Norse  naust,  a 
boat-place,  would  land  in  G.  nost,  hardly  nast, 
unless  we  could  suppose  a  change  from  o  to  a. 
Also  Platach  Nast,  the  flat  place  of  Naast ;  and 
Dun  Nast,  Fort  of  Naast. 

Boor — G.  Bura ;  N.  bur-a,  bower-stream.  Also 
Loch  Bhiira,  from  which  comes  Allt  a  Chuingleim, 
Burn  of  the  narrow  leap  (Coylum) ;  Sgeir  Bhura, 
Boor  skerry.  Torran  na  Cle,  ?  Hillock  of  the 
Hurdle ;  it  is  haunted.  Above  Boor  is  Torr  a 
Bhiod,  Torr  of  the  Point. 

Poolewe — G.  Poll-iu  ;  the  village  is  called  by  the 
natives  Abhainn  Iu<  Ewe  River.  That  Loch 


Maree  was  formerly  called  Loch  Ewe  is  clear  from 
the  facts  that  the  River  Ewe  issues  from  it,  that 
Kinlochewe  stands  at  its  upper  end,  and  Letter- 
ewe  on  its  north  side.  Blaeu's  map  makes  it 
Loch  Ew,  yet  Lochmaroy  1638.  lu  is  difficult, 
but  may  be  Ir.  eo,  Welsh  yw,  a  yew  tree  ;  cf. 
Tobar  na  h-iu  in  Nigg. 

Tollie— Tolly  1638  ;  G.  Tollaidh,  Place  of  the  Holes ; 
there  are  the  farm,  bay,  rock,  burn,  and  loch  of 
Tolly.  Common  ;  this  Tolly  is  a  place  of  knolls 
and  hollows. 

Slattadale— G.  Sleiteadal;  N.  Slettr-dalr,  Even- 

Talladale  —  Alydyll  1494  ;  Allawdill  1566  ; 
Telbadell  1638;  G.  Tealladal ;  N.  hjalli-dalr, 
ledge-dale ;  hjalli  is  a  shelf  or  ledge  in  a 
mountain  side. 

Beinn  a'  Chearcaill — Hill  of  the  circle,  from  the 

lines  of  stratification  running  round  it  like  hoops. 

Grudie  River — G.  Abhainn  Gruididh  ;  cf.  Grudie, 
in  Con  tin. 

Ru  Noa — G.  Rudh'  'n  Fhomhair,  Giant's  point. 

Tagan— Taag  1633;  G.  na  Tathagan  ;  Fear  nan 
Tathag,  the  goodman  of  Tagan.  The  singular 
nom.  is  thus  Tathag,  as  in  the  1633  spelling,  a 
diminutive  in  form,  which  I  take  to  be  a  loan 
from  N.  ta£>i,  fern.,  an  in-field,  homefield.  Tathag 
thus  means  the  small  in-field  ;  na  Tathagan,  the 
small  in-fields. 

Anancaun — G.  ath-nan-ceann,  ford  of  the  heads. 

Cromasag  —  G.  an  Cromasag  for  Crom-fhasadh, 
bent  or  crooked  dwelling. 

232        PLACE-NAMES    OF   BOSS   AND   CROMARTY. 

Beinn  Eighe — File  peak,  from  its  serrated  outline 
as  seen  from  Kinlochewe.  The  upstanding  rocks 
which  form  the  teeth  of  the  file  are  called 
Bodaich  Dhubh  Binn  Eighe,  the  black  Carls  of 
Ben  Eay.  The  sides  of  this  wild  mountain  are 
one  mass  of  shingly  screes,  ever  slipping,  whence 
it  was  said 

'S  i  mo  run  Beinn  Eighe, 

Dh'fhalbhadh  i  learn  is  dh'fhalbhainn  leatha. 

My  love  is  Ben  Eay, 

She  with  me  and  I  with  her  would  go. 

A'  Ghairbhe — The  Garry  ;  the  river  from  Loch 
Coulin  ;  G.  gairbhe,  roughness,  which  describes 
it.  The  Inverness  Garry  is  in  Gaelic  Garadh. 

An  Giuthas  mor — The  great  fir   wood;  a  relic  of 
the  indigenous  forest.     Also  Mam  a'  Ghiuthais, 
Breast  or  round  Hill  of  the  Fir-wood. 

Bruachaig — Little  bank,  locative  of  bruachag.  Also 
Abhainn  Bruachaig,  Bruachaig  River.  Opposite 
Bruachaig  is  Cruchoille,  Horse-shoe  wood,  where 
the  stream  makes  a  complete  bend  like  a  horse- 
shoe. Also  Catliair  CJiruchoille,  Fairy  knoll  of 
the  same. 

Eilean  a'  Ghobhainn— The  Smith's  isle,  with  a 
burying-ground.  Adjacent  is  the  farm  of  Culm- 
ellan,  Back  of  the  Island. 

Am  Preas  Mor — The  big  thicket ;  here  preas,  which 
usually  means  '  bush,'  must  mean  '  thicket.'  It  is 
a  loan  from  Pictish,  and  in  Welsh  means  brush- 
wood, covert. 


Beinn  a'  Mhuinidh — So  called  from  a  waterfall  in 
its  face,  called  Steall  a'  Mhuinidh  ;  cf.  the  Con- 
tinental Piss- v  ache. 

Fasag — G.  am  Fasag  for  fasadh,  the  dwelling.  Also 
Abhainn  an  Fhasaidli,  River  of  the  dwelling. 
Site  of  old  ironworks. 

Claona — G.  an  claon-ath,  the  wry  ford  ;  the  vowel 
of  ath  is  shortened  by  the  strong  accent  on  the 
prefixed  adjective. 

Beinn  Lair — To  be  taken  in  connection  with  Ard- 
lair  ;  there  are  two  rocks  near  this  promontory  in 
L.  Maree  called  an  Lair,  the  mare,  and  an 
Searrach,  the  foal.  The  meaning  is  thus  Mare- 
hill,  and  Mare-promontory. 

Slioch — G.  an  Sleaghach  ;  the  adjective  '  sleaghach r 
is  common,  in  conjunction  with  '  coire,'  a  corry  ; 
and  '  ruigh,'  a  sloping  stretch.  Here  '  sleaghach ' 
is  a  noun.  The  base  can  hardly  be  other  than 
sleagh,  a  spear,  but  the  application  is  far  from 
clear.  Slioch  is  a  truncated  cone,  almost  void  of 
vegetation,  with  many  water-worn  gullies  on  its 
steep  slopes. 

Smiorasair — So  in  G.,  where  a  final  -igh  has  been 
dropped  ;  Blaeu  writes  Smirsary,  and  cf.  Smeari- 
sary,  Moidart.  Smior  is  the  N.  smjor,  butter  ; 
ary  is  N.  erg,  shieling,  borrowed  from  G.  airigh 
at  an  early  stage.  The  as  after  smior  is  all  that 
remains  of  some  Norse  word,  which  can  only  be 
guessed  at.  Norse  compounds  of  this  type  (with 
three  parts)  are  specially  liable  to  "  telescoping J> 
in  Gaelic. 

234         PLACE-NAMES    OF   BOSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

Rigollachy — G.  Ruigh-ghobhlachaidh,  sloping  reach 
of  the  forked  field. 

Coppachy — G.  Copachaidh  ;  cop  means  knob,  foam  ; 
probably  '  foam-field/  as  it  is  on  the  shore  of  Loch 

Furness — G.  an  Fhuirneis,  the  Furnace.  There 
were  extensive  smelting  works  here.  Also 
Abhainn  na  Fuirneis,  River  of  the  Furnace. 

Folais — For  fo-ghlais,  sub-stream,  small  stream ; 
also  Allt  Folais,  Burn  of  Fowlis,  a  reduplication 
or  tautology  which  shows  that  the  name  Folais 
has  long  ceased  to  be  significant.  Cf.  Fowlis. 

Inishglass — G.  an  Innis-ghlas,  the  green  haugh. 

Meall  Bheithinnidh — Probably  based  on  G.  beithe, 
birch  ;  also  Bealach  Bheithinnidh,  Gap  of  the 

Binn  Airigh  a'  Charr— Pronounced  quickly  with 
accent  on  first  and  last  syllables,  and  shortening 
of  a  of  airigh  ;  hill  of  the  shieling  of  the  pro- 
jecting rock  or  rock  shelf. 

Ardlair — G.  Ard-lair  v.  Beinn  Lair  above. 

Poll  Uidhe  a'  Chro— Pool  of  the  water-isthmus  of 
the  fold ;  joined  to  Loch  Kernsary  by  a  narrow 

Kernsary — Kernsery  1548  ;  G.  Cearnai'sar  ;  of  same 
formation  as  Smiorasair,  above.  The  last  part  is 
N.  erg,  shieling,  borrowed  from  Gaelic  ;  the  first 
part  may  be  kjarrii,  kernel,  denoting  also  '  the 
best  part  of  the  land  ;'  or  it  may  be  kjarr,  copse. 
In  the  former  case  the  s  has  to  be  explained  as  in 
Smiorasair  ;  the  latter  theory  leaves  nas  to  be 
accounted  for. 


Innisabhaird — G.  Innis  a'  bhaird,  the  poet's  mead. 
The  poet  in  question  was  the  '  Bard  Sasunnach,' 
a  descendant  of  one  of  the  English-speaking  iron- 
workers on  Loch  Maree  side. 

Loch  Ghiuragairtaidh  also  Achadh-ghiuragair- 
tidh — Probably  from  giuran,  a  plant  resembling 
the  wild  hemlock,  and  gart,  an  enclosure ;  cf. 
Achadh-ghiurain  in  Glenshiel. 

Inveran  —  G.  Inbhirean,  the  little  '  inver,'  or 
estuary,  where  the  water  of  Loch  Kernsary  falls 
into  the  lower  end  of  Loch  Maree.  It  does  not 
seem  to  have  the  article  prefixed  in  Gaelic,  and 
this  is  the  case  also  with  the  Sutherland  Inveran, 
on  R.  Shin. 

A'  Phlucaird — The  Lump-promontory,  a  locative 
of  ploc-aird.  Inverewe  House,  which  stands  in 
its  lee,  is  called  Tigh  no,  Plucaird. 

Loch  nan  Dailthean — Loch  of  the  Dales. 

Coille-6agascaig  —  Wood  of  Eagascaig,  which  is 
Norse  eikir-skiki  or  eiki-skiki,  oak-strip.  A1 
Ghlac  Dharach,  the  oak  dell,  is  in  it,  or  at  least 
very  near  it. 

Tmrnaig— Towrnek  1548;  G.  Turnaig;  a  difficult 
name  ;  -aig  looks  like  N.  vik,  bay ;  but  Turnaig 
in  Strath  Oykell,  far  inland,  is  seriously  against 
it ;  and  the  first  part  turn  is  not  readily  explained 
from  N.  sources.  Perhaps  locative  of  G.  tuairneag, 
a  rounded  thing  ;  boss,  hillock  ;  which  would  suit 
the  places.  Platach  Thuirneig,  flat  of  Tuirnaig,  is 
the  stretch  of  moor  between  Suil  Mill  a'  CJirotha, 
Bog-eye  of  the  hill  of  the  fold,  and  Loch  a 

236        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

Bliaid  Luacliraich,  Loch  of  the  Rush-clump. 
There  are  also  Loch,  Burn,  and  Point  of  Tuirnaig. 

Cois  Mhic  'Ille  Biabhaich — Nook  or  recess  of  the 
son  of  the  brindled  lad.  Also,  JEileach  of  the 
same.  Eileach,  which  usually  means  a  mill -lade, 
is  used  in  the  west  in  the  sense  of  an  artificial 
narrowing  of  a  stream  for  the  purpose  of  catching 
fish  by  means  of  the  '  cabhuil,'  a  sort  of  creel. 
There  are  legends  with  regard  to  the  worthy 
referred  to  in  these  and  other  Gairloch  names 
which  may  be  found  in  Mr  Dixon's  "  Gairloch." 

An  Slugan  Domhain — The  little  deep  pit. 

Aultbea — In  G.  an  Fhain,  the  gentle  slope,  locative 
case  of  am  Fan.  The  real  Aultbea,  G.  Allt- 
Beithe,  Birch  burn,  is  some  little  distance  from 
the  village.  The  Aultbea  Coast  is  In  G.  an 
t-Eirtliire  Donn,  the  brown  coast. 

Badfearn — G.  am  Bad-fearna,  the  alder  clump. 

Tighnaflline — G.  Tigh  na  Faoilinn,  House  of  the 

Croc  nan  Culaidhean— Hill  of  the  Boats  (O.S.M. 
Cnoc  nan  Columan). 

Culchonich — G.  a'  Chuil-choinnich,  mossy  nook. 

Ormiscaig — G.  Ormascaig ;  N.  orma-skiki,  snake 
strip ;  possibly  Ormr,  a  proper  name  meaning 
'  snake.' 

Buailnaluib— Fold  of  the  bend. 

Mellon  Charles — G.  Meallan  Thearlaich,  Charles's 
little  hill. 

Camas  nan  Dornag — Bay  of  the  rounded  pebbles  ; 
cf.  Dornie. 


An  Fhaithche — Pronounced  an  Fhothaigh,  almost 
one  syllable ;  the  green  ;  also  Allt  na  Faithche, 
burn  of  the  green  ;  cf.  Foy  Lodge,  Lochbroom. 

Slaggan — In  G.  an  Slagan  odhar,  the  dun  rounded 
hollow.  Slaggan  is  the  name  for  the  hollow  of  a 
kiln  ;  for  sense  cf.  Loch  Hourn,  G.  Loch  Shuirn, 
Kiln-loch.  Slaggan  is  noted  as  the  residence  of 
the  Big  Bari  of  Slaggan,  Bard  Mor  an  t-Slagaiu. 

Sian  na  h-Eileig — Sian  for  sithean,  a  fairy  hillock. 
Eileag,  I  think,  was  a  V-shaped  arrangement, 
open  at  both  ends,  into  the  wide  end  of  which 
deer  were  driven  and  shot  with  arrows  as  they 
came  out  at  the  narrow  end. 

Greenstone  Point— Row  na  Clach-moin  (Blaeu)  ; 
G.  Hudha  na  Cloiche  uaine. 

Obbenin — G.  na  h-Obainean,  the  little  bays  ;  cf. 
Oban.  Near  it  is  an  Fheodhail,  a  shallow 
estuary,  a  dialectic  form  of  an  Fhaodhail,  meaning 
'  an  extensive  beach ' ;  cf.  na  Feodhlaichean,  in 

An  CaiT  M6r — The  great  rocky  shelf;  also  an  Carr 
Beag  and  Camas  a'  Charr,  Bay  of  the  rocky 
shelf,  or  projecting  rock. 

Feith  Rabhain — Pronounced,  as  usual,  Rawain  ; 
rabhan  is  a  very  common  element  in  names,  often 
coupled  with  feith,  a  bog-stream  ;  also  with  bad, 
a  clump,  e.g.,  Allt  Bad-a-rabhain  in  Dunrobin 
Glen.  It  has  been  explained  as  wrack  left  by  a 
spate  or  tide.  But  rabhagach  means  '  certain 
weeds  at  the  bottom  of  a  lake  or  stream,'  also, 
*  water  lily,'  and  rabhan  is  doubtless  practically 
the  same  word. 

238         PLACE-NAMES   OF   ROSS   AND   CROMARTY. 

Udrigle— ?  Udroll  1638  ;  G.  Udrigill  (u)  :  N.  litarr- 
gil,  outer  cleft  or  gully.  Also  Meallan  Udrigle, 
little  hill  of  Udrigle. 

Am  Fiaclachan— The  little  place  of  teeth  ;  sharp 
jagged  rocks  on  the  shore  ;  cf.  an  Fhiaclaich,  Coire 
na  Fiaclaich. 

Laid — An  Leathad,  the  broad  slope ;  Laid  House, 
G.  Tigh  an  Leathaid  ;  cf.  Laid  in  Sutherland. 

Allt  Ormaidh — N.  orm-a,  snake  stream  ;  also  Bad 
Ormaidh,  copse  of  Ormy. 

Loch  na  Cathrach  Duibhe — Loch  of  the  Black 
Fairy  Knoll. 

Sand — G.  Sannda,  N.  sand-a,  sand-stream,  as  is 
proved  by  the  presence  of  Inbhir-Shamida,  estuary 
of  Sandburn.  The  burial  place  is  Cladh  Inbhir- 

Am  Pollachar  M6r — The  big  place  of  pools  or  holes  ; 
also  am  Pollachar  Beag,  and  Cois  na  Pollach- 
arach,  foot  of  the  place  of  pools  ;  for  Pollachar 
from  poll,  cf.  Beannacliar  from  beann.  Here  is 
an  t-Saothair,  a  common  term  on  the  west, 
applied  to  a  bank  between  an  island  and  the 
shore  which  is  bare  at  low  tide,  or  to  a  spit  of 
land  projecting  into  the  sea,  covered  at  high  tide 
and  bare  at  low  tide.  Probably  for  saobh-thir, 
false-land,  i.e.,  land  that  is  not  real  dry  land. 

First  Coast — G.  an  t-Eirthire  or  an  t-Eirthire  shios, 

Second  Coast — G.  an  t-Eirthire  donn,  or  an  t- 
Eirthire  bhos. 


Loch  Maoil  na  h-Eileig — Loch  of  the  round  bare 
hill  of  the  'eileag'  (O.S.M.  Loch  Moine  Sheilg). 

Strathanmore — G.  an  Srathan  mor,  Big  Little- 
strath  ;  a  curious  but  not  uncommon  name. 

Am  Fionn  Loch — The  white  loch. 

An  Dubh  Loch — The  black  loch  ;  vowel  of  dulh 
lengthened  by  accent.  Also  am  Fuar  Loch,  the 
cold  loch. 

A*  Mhaighdean— The  maiden  ;  a  hill. 

Loch  Maree — Lochmaroy  1638  ;  Loch  Ew,  Blaeu ; 
G.  Loch-Ma-rui(bh),  Loch  of  St  Malruba ;  v. 
Poolewe.  In  it  is  Isle  Maree,  G.  Eilean  Ma-rui' 
with  a  holy  well  and  ancient  burying-ground, 
whence,  doubtless,  the  change  of  name  in  the  case 
of  the  Loch.  On  the  north  side  is  Acti  ruigh  'n 
fheadhail,  Field  of  the  sloping  reach  by  the 
shallow  water.  An  old  name  for  the  Loch  itself 
was  Loch  Feadhal  feas,1  but  what  feas  means  is 

Loch  na  Fideil — Loch  of  the  '  Fideal,'  a  certain 
dangerous  water  monster.  Near  Loch  Maree 

Glen  Docharty — G.  Gleann  Dochartaich,  from  the 
negative  prefix  do  and  cartach,  scoury,  or  place  of 
scouring;  'Glen  of  evil  (i.e.,  excessive)  scouring/ 
which  describes  it  well.  Cf.  the  Bivers  Cart. 

Loch  Doire  na  h-Eirbhe — Loch  of  the  copse  of  the 
fence.  An  old  wall  is  stated  to  run  from  Loch 
Maree  to  Loch  Torridon,  but  I  have  not  ascer- 

1  Heard  by  0.   H.  Mackenzie,  Esq.  of  Inverewe,  in  hia  boyhood  from  aa 
old  man. 

240        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

tained  whether  it  runs  near  this  loch,  which  is 
near  the  south-west  side  of  Loch  Maree. 
Cliff—  Olive  1638;  G.  a'  Chliubh  ;  Cliff  House,  G 
Tigh  na  Cliubha  ;  there  are  also  Meall  na  Cliublia 
and  Bruthach  na  Cliubha,  all  at  Poolewe.  A 
very  steep  rocky  hill  rises  just  behind.  N.  klif, 
a  cliff,  would  answer  as  to  meaning,  but  it  appears 
in  G.  as  cliof  (H.S.D.),  which  is  exactly  parallel 
to  N.  rif,  a  reef ;  G.  Biof  in  Coigach. 



IiOchbroOHl  -  -  Lochbraon  1227 ;  Inverasfran  et 
Loghbren  1275  (Thein  Vet.  Mon.);  G.  Loch- 
bhraoin.  In  the  uplands  is  Lochaidh  Bhraoin, 
where  lochaidh  can  scarcely  be  other  than  a 
diminutive  of  Loch  ;  cf.  Lochaidh  Nid.  From  it 
flows  the  river  Broom,  Abhainn  Bhraoin,  through 
Glenbroom,  famed  in  William  Boss's  song, 
"  Bruthaichean  Ghlinn  Braoin."  The  name 
Broom,  G.  Braoin,  thus  primarily  applies  to  the 
river ;  G.  braon,  0.  Ir.  broen,  a  drop,  shower, 
water.  There  are  also  R.  Broom  and  Loch 
Broom,  G.  Loch  Braoin,  in  Perthshire  ;  cf.  Brin, 
G.  Braoin,  Inverness  ;  Fairburn,  G.  Farabraoin  ; 
Braonag,  a  spot  by  the  river  side  beyond  Kilder- 

At  the  head  of  Lochbroorn  is  Clachan  Loch- 
Bhraoin,  the  stone  Church  of  Lochbroom,  still 
the  site  of  the  Parish  Church ;  dedication 

Crruinnardgarve  —  G.  Gruinneard  garbh,  rough 

Beinn  a*  Ohaisgein— There  are  two  hills  so  called, 
Little  and  Big.  Also  Feith  Chaisgein. 

Inveiiavenie  River — Inverivanie  1669;  G.  Inbhir- 
riamhainnidh,  also  Allt  Inbhir-riamhainnidh  out 


242        PLACE-NAMES   OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

of  an  Gleanna  garbh,  the  rough  glen ;  riam- 
hainnidh  is  probably  based  on  the  root  seen  in 
G.  riamh,  riadh,  a  course,  running  (in  modern  G. 
'  a  drill ').  The  suffixes  may  be  compared  with 
Ptolemy's  Lib-nios.  A  Pictish  name. 

Fisherfield — G.  Innis  an  lasgaich,  of  which  the 
English  is  a  rough  translation. 

Gruinard  River — Flows  into  Gruinard  Bay;  N. 
grunna-fjb'rtSr,  shallow  firth.  Dabhaoh  Ghruin- 
neard,  the  davoch  land  of  Gruineard,  is  still 
heard.  On  the  river  is  Na  Coineasan,  the  joint- 
falls,  from  con,  together,  and  eas,  a  fall,  a  series  of 
pools  and  rapids  ;  cf.  Coneas,  Allt  a'  Chonais. 

Lochan  Giuthais — Fir  lochlet,  behind  Oreag  nam 
Bord,  Hock  of  the  flats. 

Guisachan — G.  Gitithsachan,  place  of  fir-wood. 
Creag  Ghiuthsachan,  Rock  of  Guisachan.  Cf. 
Guisachan  in  Inverness-shire. 

Lochan  na  Bearta — Lochlet  of  the  deed.  Near  it 
are  said  to  be  uamhagan  (little  caves,  holes),  that 
would  hold  twenty  persons.  This  seems  like  a 
description  of  earth -houses.  Unfortunately  the 
place  is  remote,  and  those  who  knew  the 
uamhagan  in  their  youth  are  too  aged  to  guide 
one  to  the  spot. 

Glenmuick — G.  Gleann  na  Muice,  glen  of  the  so\v  ; 
Abhainn  Gleann  na  Muice,  River  of  Glenmuick. 

Larachantivore — G.  Larach  an  Tigh-mhoir,  site  of 
the  big  house ;  once  a  large  farm-house. 

Lochan  a'  Ehiaghad — Lochlet  of  the  upper  part, 


Suidheachail  Fhinn — Finn's  Seat ;  a  place  like  a 
long  seat,  in  the  north  side  of  Beinn  Tarsuinn, 

Beinn  a'  Chlaidheimh — Hill  of  the  Sword. 

Loch  na  Sealg — Loch  of  the  hunts  ;  Srath  na  Sealg, 
and  Abhainn  Srath  na  Sealg,  Strath  and  River  of 
the  Hunts  ;  cf.  Srath  na  Sealg,  Sutherland. 

Lochaidh  Nid— Lochlet  of  the  nest ;  from  its  situa- 
tion ;  cf.  the  Nest  in  Fannich.  There  is  a  farm  of 
Ned,  situated  in  a  hollow,  near  St  Andrews. 

Achnegie — Auchanewy  1574,  Auchinevie  1633  ;  G. 
Achd  an  fhiodhaiclh,  Field  of  the  place  of  wood ; 
G.  fiodh,  fiodhach.  It  is,  or  was  within  living 
memory,  full  of  alder  and  birch. 

Eilean  nan  Ceap — Island  of  the  blocks  or  tree 

Shen avail — G.     an     Sean-bhaile,    the     Old-town  ; 

above  it  is  Bac  an  Aorigh  (ao  short) ;    cf.    Bac 

an  Airidh,  near  Loch  Benncharan. 
An  t-Siil  Liath  (3000)— The  Gray  Heel. 
Sgurra  Fiona  (3474)— ?  Wine  peak. 
An  Teallach  (3484) — The  Forge  ;    either  from  its 

smoke-like  mists,  or  from  some  supposed  resem- 
blance to  a  forge.     The  whole  group  of  Bens  is 

called  an  Teallaich,  locative. 
Sp;dean    a*   Grhlas-tllill — Pinnacle    of    the    green 

hole  (O.S.M.  Bidein  a'  Ghlas-Thuill). 
An  Sgurra  Ruadh  (2493)— The  red  skerry  ;  Lochan 

Euadh    of    O.S.M.    is    Lochan    an    Diabhaidh, 

Lochlet  of  Shrinking  or  drying. 
Cam  na  B&Ste— Cairn  of  the  Monster.     By  it  is 

Cam  a'  Choiridh,  Cairn  of  the  little  corry. 

244        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

Loch  na  C16ire — Loch  of  the  Clergy.  It  flows  into 
Loch  Badcall. 

Lochan  na  Gaoirilt — Lochleb  of  the  Quarry,  or 
quarry-like  face  (O.S.M.  Lochan  na  Cairill). 

Loch  an  Eilich — Loch  of  the  eileach,  which  usually 
means  a  mill-lade,  but  here  a  short,  shallow, 
narrow  channel. 

Inchina — G.  Innis  an  ath,  Haugh  or  water  meadow 
of  the  ford.  Below  it  is  Torra  Cadaidh,  prob- 
ably Knoll  of  Adie's  son,  Adie  being  a  diminutive 
of  Adam.  Mac-adaidh  is  an  Easter  Ross  sur- 
name or  an  alternative  surname  for  Munro  in 
certain  families.  Of.  Eas  Cadaidh  in  Coirevalagan, 

Am  Bad  Rabhain —  Waterweed  clump,  or  water 
lily  clump ;  Allt  a'  Bhaid  Rabhain  enters  the 
sea  N.  of  Gruinard  House ;  cf.  Feith  Rabhain  in 

Cladh  Phris — Burial-place  of  the  bush  or  copse  ;  a 
disused  burying-ground  on  Isle  Gruinard,  at  the 
landing-place  S.E.  Comas  an  Fhiodh,  wood-bay, 
is  also  on  the  Isle. 

An  Eilid — The  Hind,  a  small  hill  on  Isle  Gruinard  ; 
Na  Gamhnaichean,  the  Stirks,  are  rocks ;  An 
t-Seanachreag,  the  old  rock,  a  common  name. 

Miotag — G.  Meideag  ;  the  terminal  part  is  N.  vik, 
bay,  which  describes  the  place  ;  meid  is  difficult, 
and  as  there  seems  to  be  no  single  Norse  word 
which  would  yield  this  in  Gaelic,  it  appears  to  be 
the  result  of  "  telescoping  "  with  compensatory 
lengthening  of  e.  Cf.  Inverasdale. 


Mungasdale — Mungasdill  1633  ;  G.  Mungasdal  ; 
N.  Munks-dalr,  Monk's  dale.  Faitliir  Mungas- 
dail, the  shelving  slope  of  M.,  and  Mealbhan 
Mungasdail,  the  links  on  the  shore  at  the  farm  ; 
N.  melr.  Sron  an  Fhaithir  MJioir,  Point  of  the 
great  shelving  slope,  is  on  the  coast  further  north. 
Faitliir  Mungasdail  runs  from  Stattic  nearly  to 
Rudha  na  Maine,  Moss  Point. 

Stattic  Point — G.  JStadaig ;  -aig  is  N.  vik,  bay  r 
the  only  N.  word  that  would  result  in  Gaelic 
stad  is  stdt,  prudishness,  which  gives  no  sense  ;  cf  . 
Miotag,  above. 

Little  Loch  Broom — G.  an  Loch  Beag.  Blaeu  has 
it  as  Loch  Carlin  ;  but  this  name,  if  it  ever 
existed,  is  quite  gone. 

Badluachrach — G.  am  Bad  luachrach,  the  clump  of 

Durnamuck — Derymuk  1548,  Derynomwik  1574, 
Dirinamuck  1633  ;  G.  Doire  nam  muc,  Swine 

Badcall — G.  am  Bad-call,  the  Hazel  Clump.  Allt 
a'  Bhaid  choill,  Burn  of  Badcall,  flows  through 
Badcall,  but  does  not  rise  in  Loch  Badcall. 

Badbea— G.  am  Bad  beithe,  the  Birch  Clump. 

Ardessie — G.  Aird-easaidh,  Promontory  of  Essie, 
which  latter  is  perhaps  best  regarded  as  a  stream 
name,  meaning  Fall-stream.  There  is  a  very  fine 
waterfall  on  the  Ardessie  Burn ;  rises  in  Lochan 
an  Diabhaidh  above. 

Camasnagaul — G.  Camas  nan  Gall,  Lowlanders' 

246         PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

Mac    'US    Mathair    2293 -- Son    and    Mother;    a 

fanciful  name  for  two  adjacent  hills. 
Strathbeg — G.  an  Srath   beag,  the  Little  Strath, 

as  distinguished  from  Strathmore  at  the  head  of 

Lochbroom  proper. 
Auchtascailt  -  -  Auchadaskild    1548  ;     Achadrach- 

skalie    1574;     Achtaskeald    1633;    G.    Acha   dk 

sgaillt,    Field  of  two  bald  (places)  ;    G.  sgallta, 

bald,  bare. 
Allt  Toll  'an  Lochain — Burn  of  the  hollow  of  the 

lochlet ;    the  upper   part   of   Allt   a'    Mhuilinn, 

Corryhallie — Corrinsallie  ;  G,  Coire-shaillidh.  Corry 

of  Fatness,  from  its  good  pasture. 

Gleann  Coire  Chaorachain— Glen  of  the  corry  of 

the  place  of  mountain    torrents  ;    cf.    Sgurr  nan 
Caorachan  in  Applecross. 

Cam  a'  Bhreabadair — The  Weaver's  Cairn. 

An  Cumhag — The  narrow  ;    ravine  and  waterfall ; 

cf.  Coag  ;  G.  An  Cumhag  in  Kilmuir  Easter. 
A*   Chathair    Dhubh— The    Black    Fairy  Knoll; 

where    the    public    road    crosses    the    Strathbeg 

Meall  an  t-Sithidh— O.S.M.  Meall  an  t-Sithe ;  cf. 

Na  Lochan   Fraoich — The  Heather  Lochs ;    two 

lochs  joined  by  a  short,  narrow,  shallow  channel, 

of  which  it  is  said  '  tha  eileach  eatorra.' 
Allt  Eiginn — Burn  of  Difficulty;    eiginn  is  applied 

to  places  very  rough  and  difficult  of  access  ;  also 

Loch  Eiginn. 


Fain — G.  na  Feithean,  the  bog  channels. 

Cam  a*  Bhiorain — Cairn  of  the  little  sharp  point. 

Loch  ail  Airceil — Probably  Ir.  aircel,  a  hiding- 
place  ;  loch  of  the  hiding-place.  An  Airceal  was 
the  name  of  a  croft ;  and  there  is  a  spot  on  Loch- 
broom  Glebe  called  An  Airceal. 

Maoil  an  Tiompain — The  bare  round  hill  of  the 
'  tiompan.'  A 'tiompan'  is  a  one-sided  hillock. 
A  Chathair  bhan,  the  white  fairy  knoll. 

Creag  na  Corcurach — O.S.M.  Creag  Corcurach  ; 
based  on  root  of  Ir.  corcach,  a  bog  ;  rock  of  the 
boggy  places.  Torr  na  Cathrach,  Mound  of  the 
fairy  knoll ;  Brutliach  na  Gearr(a)choille,  Brae 
of  the  short  wood ;  cf.  a'  Ghearrachoille,  near 

Dundonnell — Auchnadonill  1548,Auehtadonill  1633, 
Auchterdoull  1649  ;  G.  Acha  da  Domhnaill,  Field 
of  two  Donalds.  This  is  the  current  G.  for  Dun- 
donnell ;  but  Dun  Domhnaill  also  exists  as  the 
name  of  a  spot  near  the  farm-house.  The  spot 
where  the  lodge  stands  is  an  t-Eilean  Daraich, 
the  Oak  Isle. 

Preas  nam  Bodach — Bush  or  copse  of  the  spectres  ; 
it  is  haunted.  Am  Preas  Mdr,  the  big  clump  ; 
once  an  alder  clump,  now  a  green  island  with 
fringe  of  alder  trees  on  north  side.  Both  near 
Dundonnell  House. 

Loch  na  Lagaidh — Loch  of  the  pace  of  the 
hollow.  Lagaidh,  when  it  occurs  on  the  west 
coast,  is  fern.,  and  is  used  with  the  article  ;  the 

248         PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND   CROMARTY. 

E.  Ross  Lagaidh,  Logie,  has  not  got  the  article 

Cladh  a'  Bhord  Bhuidhe — Graveyard  of  the  yellow- 
flat  ;  Pairc  a  Bhord  Bhuidhe,  Park  of  the  same. 

Keppoch — G.  a'  Cheapaich,  the  tillage  plct ;  com- 
mon. Also  Raon  na  Ceapaich  and  Creacj  na 
Ceapaich,  Field  and  Rock  of  Keppoch.  Sron  na 
Ceapaich,  Point  of  Keppoch,  also  called  a'  Chlach 
Cheannli,  for  Cheann-liath,  gray-headed  stone ; 
cf.  Maoil  Cheanndearg. 

Kildonan — G.  Gill  Donnain,  St  Donan's  Church. 
Corran  Chill  Donnain,  Kildonan  Point.  Corran 
is  very  common  along  the  west  coast  in  this  sense, 
and  is  usually  found  at  the  horn  of  a  small  bay. 
Clqdh  Chill  Donnain,  Kildonan  graveyard. 

Na  Faithriehean— The  shelving  slopes. 

Badrallach — G.  am  Bad-railleach,  the  oak  clump  ; 
Ir.  ral,  oak.  Birch  and  hazel  still  grow  here.  A 
poisonous  plant  used  to  be  found  here  called 
'  am  boinne  mear ;'  Ir.  benri  mer,  henbane. 
Corran  a  Bhaid-railleach,  Badrallach  Point. 

Allt  an  Leth  Ghlinne — Burn  of  the  half-glen. 

Loch  na  h-Uidhe— Loch  of  the  water-isthmus. 

Loch  na  Coireig — Loch  of  the  little  corry. 

A'  Bheinn  Ghobhlach  —  The  forked  hill;  Bin 
Cowloch,  Blaeu. 

Allt  an  Uisge  Mhath— Burn  of  the  good  water. 

Rhireavach — G.  Euigh'  riabhach,  dappled  hill- 

An  Carnach — The  stony  place,  which  describes  it. 


Sgoraig — N.  sgor-vik,  rift-bay,  from  a  narrow  gully 
at  the  place. 

Sgoraig  sgreagach,  's  dona  beag  i, 

Aite  gun  dion  gun  fhasgadh,  gun  phreas  na  coille. 

Scraggy  Scoraig,  bad  and  little ; 

A  place  without  protection  or  shelter,  bush  or  wood. 

Mol  Sgoraig,  Shingle  beach  of  Scoraig.      Cam  na 

Fir  Freig  (for  bhreug),  Cairn  of  the  false  men  ; 

fir-breio-  are  stones  on  the  sky-line,  which  might 

be  taken  for  men  ;  behind  Scoraig. 
Cailleach  Head — G.  Sr6n  na  Caillich,  nun's  point; 

in  O.S.A.  Rudha  Shanndraig.     A1  Chailleach,  the 

nun,  and  Bodach  a    Chleirich,  the  parson's  carl, 

are  points  facing  one  another. 
Camas  nan  Ruadhag — Crab  Bay. 
Meall  a'  Chaoruinn — Rowan  Lump,  otherwise  Stac 

Chaoruinn,  Rowan  Stack  ;  an  island. 
Carnasgeir — Cairn-skerry  ;  for  formation  cf.  Elgin  - 

tol  and  Plucaird.     There  are  a  cairn  and  a  skerry, 

joined  at  low  water. 
An  Leac  Dhonn — The  brown  flat  rock  ;  a  baskiug- 

place  of  seals. 
Annat — G.  an  Annait,  the  mother- church.      Cladh 

na  h- Annait,   Annat  graveyard.     Annat   Bay  is 

G.  Linne  na  h-Annait,  or  am  Polla  Mor. 
Giaic  an  Righ  Ghonanaich— Hollow  of  the  ?  Strath- 

conon  King.  This  may  be  Torquil  Conanach,  son 
of  Rory  Macleod  of  the  Lewis,  so  called  because 
he  was  brought  up  in  Strathconon.  This  Torquil, 
who  was  rightful  heir  to  the  Lewis,  flourished  in 

250        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    OHOMARTY. 

the  latter  half  of  the   16th  century,  and  might 
have  been  styled  '  king '  by  the  people  of  the  west. 

An  Talla — The  Hall ;  a  point  with  site  of  a  tower 
occupied  by  Righ  an  Talla  Dheirg,  the  king  of 
the  red  hall. 

Achmore — G.  an  Acha'  Mor,  big  field. 

Badacrain — G.  Bad  nan  Cnaimhean,  Clump  of  the 
Bones ;  otherwise  Badaidh  nan  Cnaimhean. 
Near  it  is  Stall  an  t-Sagairt,  Priest's  Rock,  about 
which  there  is  a  tradition  that  a  certain  stone  is 
to  fall  on  a  priest  passing  in  a  boat. 

Camas  a'  Mhaoraich  —  Shell-fish  bay;  Cammez 
Murie,  Blaeu. 

Altnaharrie  —  G.  Allt  na  h-Airbhe  (or  Eirbhe), 
Burn  of  the  wall  or  fence  ;  it  comes  from  Loch  na 
h-Airbhe,  Loch  of  the  Fence.  The  fence  or  wall 
in  question  runs  along  by  the  north  end  of  the 
loch,  and  so  on  towards  Maoil  na  h-Eirbhe,  Hill 
of  the  Fence.  It  is  a  very  old  wall,  composed  of 
sods  and  stones.  G.  Airbhe  or  eirbhe  is  O.  Ir. 
airbe,  meaning  (l)  ribs  (2)  fence;  and  is  not 
uncommon  in  northern  place-names ;  cf.  Camas 
na  h-Eirbhe  and  Loch  Doire  na  h-Eirbhe  in  Gair- 
loch  ;  Loch  Doire  na  h-Eirbhe  in  Coigach ; 
Altnaharra,  G.  Allt  na  h-Eirbhe,  in  Sutherland. 
At  all  these  places  similar  old  walls  exist,  and 
their  antiquity  may  be  gauged  from  their  appear- 
ance, as  well  as  from  the  fact  that  the  word  eirbhe 
is  quite  obsolete  in  the  north,  and  that  there  is 
no  tradition  as  to  the  purpose  of  them. 


Logie — Logy  1548  ;  G.  an  Lagaidh,  the  place  of  the 
hollow.  Here  is  Dim  na  Layaidh,  Fort  of  Logie, 
a  broch  in  a  very  ruinous  condition.  The 
current  in  the  narrows  here  is  called  Sruth  na 

Blarnalevoch  —  G.  Blar  na  Leitheoch,  Plain  or 
moor  of  the  half-place,  i.e.,  place  between  hill  and 
loch.  But  I  have  got  also  Blar-na-leamhach, 
Elmwood  plain ;  cf.  an  Leithead  Leamhach  in 

Eliroy — G.  an  Ruigh  Huadh,  the  red  hill-reach. 
Here  is  Dun  an  Ruigh  Ruaidh,  Fort  of  the  red 
slope  (O.S.M.  Dun  an  Bigh  Buaidh),  a  broch  of 
about  40  feet  internal  diameter,  with  its  first 
storey  gallery  in  very  fair  preservation.  Very 
large  stones  have  been  used  in  it  all  round.  Its 
north  side  is  on  the  very  edge  of  a  precipitous 
rock,  and  it  stands  between  two  burns,  each  less 
than  100  yards  distant  from  it. 

Ardindrean— G.  Ard  an  Dreaghainn,  Thorn-point. 

Letters — G.  an  Leitir,  the  hill-side  slope. 

Strathmore — G.  an  Srath  mor,  the  big  Strath,  at 
the  head  of  Lochbroom.  This  is  the  Strathmore 
of  the  well-known  Gaelic  chorus  which  ends — 

Gur  b6idhcach  an  comunn 

'Th'  aig  coinneamh  'n  t  Srath-mhoir. 

The  words  of  this  chorus,  which  are  best  known 
through  the  famous  song  beginning  '  Gur  gile  mo 
leannan,'  were  composed  by  Mrs  Mackenzie  of 
Ballone,  now  In ver broom ;  G.  Bail'  an  Loin, 
Stead  of  the  damp  meadow. 

252        PLACE-NAMES    OF   BOSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

CroftOWn— G.  Bail'  na  Oroit. 

Achlunachan — Aglonoquhan  1548,  Achnaglowna- 
chane  1574,  Auchlownachan  1633,  Auchalunachan 
1669.  Achaglounachan,  Blaeu  ;  G.  Ach-ghluinea- 
chairi  and  Acha-liiinneachain,  of  which  the  former 
is  the  better  form ;  G.  gluineach,  kneed,  jointed, 
applied  to  grasses  with  jointed  stalks  ;  Field  of 
the  jointed  grass. 

Gar  Van — G.  an  Garbhan,  the  rough  place. 

Achindrean — Auchquhedrane  1543,  Auchindrewyne 
1574,  Auchindrein  1633;  Thorn-field. 

Meall  a'  Ghrasgaidh  3062— Hill  of  the  crossing. 

A'  Chailleach  3276 — The  Nun,  or  the  old  woman. 

Abhainn  Dhroma — From  Loch  Droma,  Ridge  Loch, 
on  the  watershed.  Otherwise  Dubhag. 

Corryhalloch — G.  Coire-shalach,  Ugly  Corry,  the 
tremendous  chasm  near  Braemore  House.  The 
fine  waterfall  at  the  bridge  which  spans  the 
ravine  is  Easan  na  Miasaich,  the  waterfalls  of 
the  place  of  platters  ;  the  '  platters '  are  the  great 
pot-holes  worn  by  the  action  of  the  water.  (Falls 
of  Measach). 

Meall  Leacachain— Hill  of  the  place  of  flagstones  ; 
also  Leathad  Leacachain,  Hillside  of  Leacachan. 
There  is  a  tale  attached  to  it  which  is  too  long  to- 

Dirriemore — G.  an  Diridh  Mor,  the  great  ascent. 

Beinn  Eunacleit  —  O.S.M.  Benin  Aonaclair;  N. 
Enni-klettr,  Brow-cliff;  cf.  Eriaclete. 

Braemore — G.  am  Braigh'  Mor,  the  big  upper  part. 

1  V.  Guide  to  Ulkpool  and  Lochbroom. 


Fasagrianach  —  G.  an  Fhasadh-chrionaich  ;  na 
Fasadh-chrionaich  (genitive)  ;  Eotten-tree  Stead  ;  < 
the  compound  takes  the  gender  of  the  latter  part 
crionaich,  feminine ;  fasadh  is  masculine.  The 
formation  is  common,  especially  in  the  West ; 
cf.  an  Lon-roid,  an  t-Allt-giuthais. 

Diollaid  a'  Mhill  Bhric— Saddle  of  the  speckled 
hill  (meall). 

Glackour — G.  a'  Ghlaic  odhar,  the  dun  hollow. 

Inverbroom  Lodge  or  Foy  Lodge — G.  an  Fhoth- 
aith  ;  Tigh  na  Fothai',  a  weakened  form  of  faithche, 
a  green,  a  lawn  ;  cf.  Baile  na  Foitheachan,  Stead 
of  the  green  places  or  lawns  (wrongly  explained 
supra,  p.  25). 

Inverlael  —  Innerlauell  1608;  Inner  laall,  Blaeu  ; 
G.  Inbhir  Lathail ;  N.  Lag-hoi,  Low  hollow,  with 
G.  Inbhir,  confluence ;  near  the  place  where 
B.  Lael  enters  Lochbroom. 

Grleann  na  Sguaib  --  Known  locally  as  GJeann 
Mhic-an-Aba,  Macnab's  Glen.  The  O.S.M.  name 
I  have  not  been  able  to  verify. 

Sgurr  Eideadh  nan  Clach  Geala  —  Garment- of- 
white-stones  Peak ;  sgurr  is  defined  by  the 
whole  following  phrase,  to  which  it  stands  in 

Ard  nan  Long  —  Promontory  of  the  ships  ;  the 
anchorage  at  the  head  of  Lochbroom. 

Ardcharnaich — Ardhernich  1666  ;  G.  Ard-Cheath- 
arnaich,  Champion's  Promontory.  Corran  Ard- 
cheatharnaich,  Ardcharnaich  Point. 

Haonachroisg — G.    Raon  a'  chroisg,   Field   of  the 

254        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

Leckmelm — Lachmaline  1548  ;  Lochmalyne  1574  ; 
Lekmaline  1633  ;  Leach  Maillinim,  Blaeu.  G. 
Leac  Mailm ;  leac,  a  flag-stone,  a  flat  stone  over 
a  grave  ;  Mailm,  the  old  forms  of  which  all  show 
n,  is  probably  the  name  of  a  man  who  was  buried 
here  ;  cf.  "the  battle  of  Liacc  Maelain,"  Ann.  of 
Ulster,  677  A.D. 

Beinn  Eildeach — Hill  of  hinds  ;  eildeach  contracted 
for  eilideach.  Under  it  is  Leac  Mhor  na  Cle. 

Corry — G.  an  Coiridh,  the  little  corry  ;  it  is  a  little 
hollow.  Also  Corry  Point. 

Braes  of  Ullapool — G.  Bruthaichean  Ullabuil. 

Gadcaisceig — G.  Gead-caisceig,  narrow  rig  or  lazy- 
bed  of  Caisceig. 

Ullapool— Ullabill  (Bleau)  ;  G.  Ullabul,  N.  Ulli- 
bolsta'Sr,  Ulli's  stead. 

Calascaig — N.  Kali-skiki,  Kali's  strip  ;  at  the  foot 
of  Loch  Achall.  Maol  Chalascaig,  Bare  hill  of 
Calascaig,  about  a  mile  east  of  Ullapool.  Leathad 
Chalascaig,  broad  hill-side  of  Calascaig,  on  south 
side  of  Loch  Achall.  Blaeu  has  Avon  Cliallas- 
caig  flowing  into  the  loch. 

Loch  Achall — G.  Loch  Ach-challa,  also  Loch  Ach- 
a-challa,  Loch  of  the  field  of  hazel,  G.  call.  Also 
Gleann  Loch-Achalla,  Glen  of  Achall. 

Poll-da-ruigh — Hollow  of  two  hill-slopes  ;  near 
Ullapool.  One  slope  rises  up  to  Cnoc  na  Croiche, 
Gallows  Hill. 

Rhidorroch — G.  an  Euigh  dhorcha,  the  dark  hill- 


Allt    Chill-6iteachan,    behind    Ullapool,    in     the 

Rhidorroch    direction.       The    name     implies    an 

ancient  chapel.     Cf.  Carn-eite,  Kintail. 
Meall  na  Mocheirigh— Hill  of  the   early  rising; 

or  perhaps  rather  of  the  achievement  that  comes 

of  early  rising. 
Douchary — G.     Duchairidh    for   dubh-chatharaigh, 

place  of  black  broken  moor  ;  common.     Also  Glen 

Donchary  and  River  Douchary. 
Glastullieh — So  Blaeu  ;  Green  hillock. 
Morefield — G.    a'    Mhor-choille,    the    great    wood. 

Morefield   Cottage   is    an    Ceanna-chruinn,    the 

round  head. 
Allt  an    t-sratliain — Burn    of    the    little    strath  ; 

O.S.M.  Allatyrne  Burn. 
Rudh'  Ard  a'  Chadail — Point  of  Ardachadail,  which 

again  means  Sleep-promontory. 
Cull  a'  Bhodha — Nook  of  the  reef;  a  good  fishing 

bank.     O.S.M.  Cul  Bo. 
Ard  na  h-Eigheamh — Promontory  of  shouting  (for 

the  ferry-boat). 
Isle  Martin — G.  Eilean  Mhartainn  ;  a  burial  place 

in  it  is  Cladh  Eilein  Mhartainn. 
Ardmair — G.    Ard    Mheara,    Finger    promontory ; 

with  fine   beaches.     The  spit  of  land  projecting 

into  the  sea  and  covered  at  high  tide  is  called  an 

Keanchilish — G.   Ceann  a'  Chaolais,  Head  of  the 

Narrows  or  Kyle  ;  at  entrance  to  Loch  Kanaird. 

South  of  it  is  Glutan,  '  throat ' — a  gorge. 

256         PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

Loch  Kan  air d — L.  Cannord.  Blaeu ;  G.  Loch 
Oaiimeart ;  N.  kami-fjor'Sr,  Can-firth  ;  the  Can 
was  doubtless  the  broch,  now  ruinous,  near  the 
entrance  to  the  loch  on  its  western  side,  called 
still  Dun  Canna.  Its  can-like  shape  struck  the 
Norsemen,1  as  did  the  can-like  peak  of  the  chief 
hill  in  Raasay,  also  called  in  Gaelic  Dun  Canna, 
in  English  Dun  Can. 

Pollachoire — G.  Poll  a'  Choire,  Cauldron  pool. 

Duasdale — G.  Dubh-astail,  black  dwelling ;  also 
Burn  of  Duasdale. 

Loch  a*  Ohroisg— Loch  of  the  crossing. 

Rapag — Noisy  place  ;  Allt  Rapag,  Noisy  Burn. 

Meall  a'  Bhuirich— Hill  of  bellowing  (of  stags). 

Langwell — N.  lang-vollr,  long-field. 

Ach  nan  Cairidhean — Field  of  the  tidal  weirs ; 
O.S.M.  Achnacarnean. 

Drienach — G.  an  Droighneach,  place  of  thorns. 

Achendrean — G.  Ach'  an  Dreaghainn,  Field  of 

Blughasary  —  G.  Blaoghasairigh  (ao  short),  or 
Bladhasairigh  ;  to  be  divided  Blaogh  (or  Bladh)- 
as-airigh ;  for  airigh  cf.  Kernsary ,  Smiorasair, 
Meall  Andraraidh ;  as  may  well  stand  for  N.  hus, 
a  house ;  the  first  syllable  is  doubtful ;  it  requires 
a  N.  blag-  or  bleig-,  which  is  not  forthcoming. 

Drumrunie — G.  Druima  Raonaidh,  also  Abhainn 
Raonaidh.  Raonaidh  is  probably  the  stream 
name  ;  '  River  of  the  upland  plain.' 

1  This  goes  to  prove,  if  additional  proof  were  needed,  that  the  brochs  are 


Loch  Lurgainn — Shank  Loch  ;  there  is  a  Fingalian 
tale  attached  explanatory  of  the  name.  Fiona 
and  his  mother  came  to  blows  with  some  giants  in 
the  Garve  direction,  and  as  he  was  getting  the 
worst  of  it  he  seized  his  mother  by  the  legs,  threw 
her  over  his  shoulder,  and  fled  westwards.  He 
stopped  at  this  loch,  and  on  taking  the  old  lady 
down,  found  he  had  only  the  shanks  of  her,  which 
he  threw  into  the  loch.  A  more  rationalistic 
explanation  may  be  found  in  the  fact  that  the 
loch  has  an  outlet  at  both  ends. 

Loch  a'  Chlaiginn — Skull  loch ;  claigeann  is  com- 
monly applied  to  a  knob-shaped  hill. 

Loch  Eadar  da  Bheinn — Loch  between  two  hills. 

Na  Beannanan  Beaga— The  little  hillocks. 

Coigeach — Cogeach  1502;  Ladocchogith  1508; 
Coidgeach,  1538;  Coygach,  Blaeu  ;  G.  a'  Ch6ig- 
each,  Place  of  fifths  ;  for  which  use  of  coig  cf.  the 
five  Coig's  in  Strathdearn,  Coig  na  Fearna,  &c. 
Division  of  land  into  fifths  is  a  common  and 
ancient  Gaelic  practice,  the  best  known  fifths 
being  the  five  fifths  of  Erin — coig  coigimh  na 
h-Eirinn.1  Tradition  makes  the  five-fifths  of 
Coigach  to  have  been  Achnahaird,  Achlochan, 
Acheninver,  Achabhraighe,  and  Achduart — the 
five  Ach's,  '  na  coig  achaidhean,'  and  this  is  the 
local  derivation  of  the  name. 

1  A  Gaelic  saying  has  it,  "  Tha  coig  cdigimh  an  Eirinn,  agus  tha  e<5ig 
o<5igimh  an  Srath-e'irinn  ;  ach  's  fearr  aon  coigeamh  na  h-Eirinn  ;  na  cdig 
c<5igimh  Srath-e"irinn  ;"  there  are  five-fifths  in  Erin  and  five-fifths  in  Strath  - 
erin  ;  but  better  is  one  fifth  of  Erin  than  the  five  fifths  of  Stratherin  (Strath- 


258         PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

Creag   Mhor   na   Coigich —  The  great   rock  of 

Coigach  ;  In  it  is  Allt  nan  Coisichean,  Burn  of  the 
walkers,  a  resting  place  on  the  way  to  Ullapool 

Coulnacraig—  G.  CM  na  Creige,  Back  of  the  Eock. 

Achduart — G.  Achadh  Dubhard,  Black-point  Field. 
Duart  is  a  common  name.  Rudha  Dubh-ard, 
Duart  Point. 

lolla  Bheag — The  little  fishing  rock  ;  also  An  lolla 

Horse  Sound — G.  Caolas  Eilean  nan  Each. 

Horse  Island — G.  Eilean  nan  Each. 

Acheninver — G.  Achd  an  Inbhir,  Field  of  the 

Achabhraigh — G.  Achd  a'  Bhraighe,  Field  of  the 
Upper  part. 

Badenscallie  —  Badskalbay  1617  ;  Badinscally, 
Blaeu  ;  G.  Bad-a-Sgalaidh,  Clump  of  the  place  of 
•pectres  ;  Ir.  Seal,  spectre.  Cf.  Bo  than  Bad- 
sgalaidh  beyond  Kildermorie,  a  place  notoriously 
haunted.  Local  tradition  derives  the  name  from 
Sgal,  one  of  the  three  brothers  who  first  settled 
Coigach.  The  second  was  '  an  Gille  Buidhe,'  the 
Yellow  Lad5  who  settled  at  Achiltybuie.  The 
name  of  the  third  I  failed  to  learn.  They  used  to 
meet  at  a  great  stone  in  the  moor  about  equi- 
distant from  the  three,  called  Clack  na  Comhalach, 
Try  sting- IStone. 

Polglass — G.  am  Poll  glas,  the  green  hollow. 
Achlochan — G.  Achd  an  Lochain,  Field  of  the  little 

Eudh'  an  Dunain — Point  of  the  little  fort. 


Achiltibuie — Badincarbatakilvy  1617  (read  t  for  c) ; 
Achamuilbuy,  Blaeu.  The  Gaelic  is  heard  as 
Achd-ille-bhuidhe,  Aichilidh  bhuidhe,  Achill 
bhuiclhe.  Local  tradition  derives  as  '  Field  of 
the  yellow  lad/  or  *  Cave  (faic)  of  the  yellow 
lad,"  and  there  are  tales  of  the  Gille  Buidhe. 
But  this  is  probably  mere  popular  etymology, 
and  it  is  to  be  feared  that  the  first  of  the  three 
Gaelic  forms  is  a  popular  corruption  to  suit  the 
story.  The  other  two  are  similar  to  Achilty 
in  Contin  G.  Achillidh,  and  may  show  the  same 
root  as  Welsh  uchel,  high  ;  cf.  Oykell,  Ochil. 

Badentarbet  —  Badintarbat  1617  ;  G.  Bad  an 
Tairbeirt,  Clump  of  the  Portage ;  the  lochs 
behind  it  are  separated  by  a  narrow  neck,  across 
which  boats  would  be  hauled. 

Polbain — G.  am  Poll  ban,  the  white  hollow. 

Dorney — Dorny  1617  ;  G.  an  Dbirnidh,  the  place 
of  rounded  pebbles.  The  real  old  Dorney,  G.  an 
t-Seann  Doirnidh,  is  opposite  Isle  Ristol,  to  which 
it  stands  in  the  same  relation  as  the  Kintail  Dornie 
to  Ellandonan.  There  are  here  also  rounded 
pebbles,  and  Meall  na  Sgriodain,  Hill  of  the 
Scree,  comes  down  to  the  water's  edge  ;  v.  Dornie 
in  Kintail. 

Summer  Isles — G.  na  h-Eileanan  Samhraidh.  The 
chief  of  these  follow,  the  last  being  Isle  Ristol. 

Tanera — G.  Tannara  (Tawnnara)  ;  N.  hnfnar-ey, 
with  usual  prefixed  t,  Harbour-isle.  The  anchor- 
age, G.  an  acarsaid,  on  the  eastern  side  of  Tanera, 
is  well  known  on  the  west  for  its  security.  There 

260        PLACE-NAMES    OF   BOSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

is  another  Tanera  on  the  east  of  Lewis,  near  the 
Birken  Isles. 
Ardnagoine — G.  Ard  nan  Gaimhne,  Promontory  of 

the  Stirks ;  from  its  good  pasture. 
Caolas  a*  Mhuill  Ghairbh — Narrow  of  the  rough 
Mull  or  promontory  ;  N.  muli,  a  jutting  crag  ;  cf. 
Mull  of  Kintyre. 

Sgeir  Ribhinn — Lady  Skerry  ;  O.S.M.  Sgeir  Revan. 
Sgeir  Neo-ghluasadach — Immovable  skerry  ;  Fast- 

Na  Feadh'laichean — The  shallow  sandy  channels 
between  na  Sgeirean  glasa,  the  green  skerries, 
and   Cam  Deas,  South   Cairn,  and  between  the 
latter  and  Cam  lar,  West  Cairn  ;  pi.  of  feadhail, 
a  variant  of  faodhail,  an  extensive  beach. 
Bottle  Island — G.    Eilean   a    Bhotuil  ;    otherwise 
Eilean  Druim-briste,  Broken-backed  Isle  ;  there 
is  a  depression  in  the  middle. 
Priest  Island  — G.  an  Cle'ireach  ;  the  Cleric  (never 

Eilean  a'  Chl&rich). 

A'  Mhullagraich — ?  The  place  of  bumps,  or  knolls.1 
Isle  Ristol — G.  Eilean  Kuisteil  ;  on  the  mainland 
opposite    is   Allt    Ruisteil,    Histol    Burn,    which 
suggests  that  the  original  Histol  was  on  the  main- 
land ;  N.  hryss-dalr,  Mare  dale. 
Altandow — G.   an  t-Alltan  dubh,  the  little  black 

burn  ;  name  of  a  township. 

Reiff—  Reiff  1617  ;  G.  an  Rif  (as  Eng.  riff),  the 
reef;  N.  rif,  a  reef.  The  reef  here  is  called 
Bogha  a  Bhuraich,  Eeef  of  the  bellowing. 

1  Mullagraeh  occurs  as  an  adjective,  meaning,   apparently,  '  full  of  pro- 
tuberances,' in  the  Poems  of  Egan  O'Rahilly  (Irish  Texts  Society,  Vol.  III.). 


Loch  na  Totaig — Loch  of  the  ruined  homestead. 

Faochag — G.  an  Fhaochag,  '  the  wilk,'  a  quaint 
name.  Camas  na  Faochaige,  Faochag  Bay. 

Rudha  na  Coigich — Coigach  Point. 

Camas  Coille — Wood  bay. 

Achnahaird — Auchnahard  1617;  G.  AchacTh  na 
h-Aird,  Field  of  the  Aird.  The  Aird,  or  pro- 
montory, of  Coigach,  is  a  large  district. 

Loch  Raa — L.  Rha,  Blaeu  ;  G.  Loch  Ra,  Eed  Loch  ; 
N.  rau'Sr,  red. 

Loch  Battachan — G.  Loch  nam  Badachan,  Loch  of 
the  copses. 

Garvie  Bay — G.  Garbhaidh,  seems  to  be  the  name 
of  the  stream  from  Loch  Osgaig  which  enters  the 
sea  here  ;  Rough  River  ;  cf.  Garry.  There  is  also 
Loch  Garvie,  a  widening  of  the  stream  before  it 
reaches  the  sea. 

Loch  Osgaig  (6) — N.  oss-skiki,  Outlet-strip.  O.S.M. 
Loch  Owskeich. 

Loch  Bad  a'  Ghaill — Lowlander's-clump  Loch. 

Aird  of  Coigach — Dauachnahard  1617  (Dabhach 
na  h-Airde) ;  G.  airde  na  Coigich,  Promontory 
of  Coigach. 

Loch  na  Sails — Loch  of  the  Heel ;  from  its  shape. 

Beinn  an  Eoin — Hill  of  the  bird. 

River  Polly — G.  Abhainn  Phollaidh  ;  also  Srath 
Phollaidh,  Strathpolly  ;  Inbhir-Phollaidh,  Inver- 
polly.  Pollaidh  is  a  river  name,  with  the  common 
river  termination  :  River  of  Pools,  or  Holes. 

Loch  Sianascaig  —  N.  sjonar-skiki,  Observation 
strip.  O.S.M.  Loch  Skinaskink. 

262         PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

Cuthaill  Mhor  and  Cuthaill  Bheag— The  latter 

part  is  N.  fjall,  a  hill ;  first  part  obscure.  The 
names  recur  in  the  parish  of  Urray,  where  I  have 
doubtfully  suggested  kua-fjall,  Cow-fell.  More 
probably  kvi-fjall,  Pen-fell,  Fold-fell ;  cf.  Cuidha- 
shader,  p.  270. 

Euighgrianach — G.  Ruigh-ghrianach,  Sunny  slope. 

Elver  Kirkaig — Abhainn  Chircaig  ;  also  Loch 
Kirkaig  and  Inverkirkaig  ;  N.  kirku-vik,  Church- 

Cuil  na  Bioraich — (O.S.M.  Cuil  na  Beathrach); 
nook  of  the  dog-fish  (possibly  of  the  heifer). 

Loch  Veyatie  —  L.  Meaty  (Blaeu)  ;  G.  Loch 
Mheathadaidh  ;  for  the  first  part  may  be  com- 
pared the  numerous  Lewis  names  in  meatha-, 
from  N.  mjo,  narrow  ;  terminal  -aidh  is  probably 
N.  a,  river,  d  being  all  that  remains  of  the  noun 
qualified  by  mjo  ;  '  the  river  of  the  narrow  -  -  ? ' 
The  loch  would  naturally  be  called  after  the 

Loch  Doire  na  h-Airbhe — Loch  of  the  copse  of  the 
wall.  An  old  wall  runs  near  the  loch  ;  cf.  Altna- 
harrie.  O.S.M.  Loch  na  Doire  Seirbhe. 

Loch  an  Arbhair — Loch  of  the  Corn ;  O.S.M.  Loch 
na  Darubh.  This  loch  and  Loch  a'  Choin,  Dog- 
loch,  have  got  transposed  on  the  one-inch  O.S.M. 

Loch  Call  nan  Uidhean  —  Hazel-loch  of  the 
isthmuses ;  there  are  four  isthmuses  round  it. 
O.S.M.  Loch  Call  an  Uigean. 

LEWIS.  263 


The  name  of  Lewis  or  Lewg,  Gaelic  Leodhas,  or 
popularly  Leodh's,  appears  in  the  Norse  sagas  as 
Lj6iShus1  and  Lj6;Sus2 ;  and  the  contemporary 
Gaelic  form  Le6dus  is  found  in  an  Irish  MS.  of 
1 1 50. 3  Only  another  instance  of  the  name  occurs, 
and  this  was  the  name  of  a  town  not  far  from 
Gothenburg,  in  Sweden,  latterly  known  as 
Lodose.  This  fact  shows  that  the  name  is  not 
special  to  either  island  or  town.  The  attempts  to 
derive  it  from  Gaelic  sources,  such  as  Martin's 
(1700)  leog,  a  marsh,  have  naturally  failed.  The 
latter  part  of  the  name  is  plainly  Norse  hus,  a 
house,  but — and  this  is  very  unusual — there  is 
quite  a  plethora  of  root  and  stem  forms  available 
to  explain  the  phonetics  of  the  first  part.  Pro- 
fessor Munch  favoured  "  the  sounding  house " 
(hlj(f6,  sound) :  "  people's  house "  (ljo<$-)  is  just 
possible  ;  the  real  meaning  seems  best  found  in 
Ljo'Sa-hus,  "  house  of  songs  or  lays,"  in  short  a 
ceilidh  house.  A  farm-house  or  such  devoted  to 
more  or  less  public  entertainment,  first  must  have 
given  its  name  to  a  district  and  then  to  the  whole 
island.  Norse- Gaelic  phonetics  will  not  suit  the 
favourite  derivation  of  the  Lewis  scholars,  viz., 

1  Magnus  (c.  1100  A.D.)  and  Orkney  Sagas.        s  Hacon  Sag*- 
3  Book  of  Leinster. 

264        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

Ljot-hus,  "  Leod's  House,"  because  the  t  of  Ljot 
regularly  becomes  hard  d.  Its  "  higher  parts" 
were  called  Hin  Haerri,  and  later  made  into  the 
Gaelic  form  of  Na  Hearradh,  Englished  Harris. 

We  shall  first  take  in  alphabetical  order  the 
chief  Norse  words  that  enter  into  the  composition 
of  names  in  Lewis. 

d,  river  :  the  River  Creed  or  Greeta ;  G.  Gride ; 
grjot-a,  shingly,  gritty  river  ;  Torray,  Thor-a, 
Thori's  water ;  Laxay,  Lax-a,  salmon  river ; 
Gisla,  G.  Giosla,  gisl-a,  ?  hostage  river,  but  Gisl 
is  also  a  proper  name  ;  Avik,  a-vik,  river  bay,  at 
the  mouth  of  the  Galsori  river;  Eirera,  eyrar-a, 
beach  river. 

boer,  stead,  town — very  rare;  JEoropie,  G.  Eorrabaidh, 
beach- town ;  Crumby,  G.  Crumbaidh,  Krum's 

Bakki,  a  bank  ;  G.  bac  ;  hence  the  district  of  Back ; 
Tabac,  G.  Tabac,  t-ha-bakki,  High  Bank  ;  Baca- 
vat,  N.  bakka-vatn,  Ridge-loch. 

Bekkr,  brook — Bee- amir,  bekk-hamarr,  the  rock  by 
the  stream. 

Beit,  pasture  land — Beid-ic,  pasture  bay  ;  Beid-ic- 
ean,  pasture  bays,  at  Cabag,  Lochs. 

Bolsta^r,  a  homestead,  appears  in  Bosta,  Bernera. 
It  is  very  common  as  -bost,  at  the  end  of  names. 
Garrabost  for  Geira-bolstacSr,  comes  most  prob- 
ably from  geiri,  a  goar  or  triangular  strip  of  land. 
Shawbost,  G.  Slabost,  sja-holsta'Sr,  Sea-stead; 
Melbost,  G.  Mealabost ;  melr,  bent  grass,  or  a 
sandhill  grown  over  with  bent ;  Link-stead ; 

LEWIS.  265 

Swanibost,  G.  Suaineabost,  Sweyn's  stead ;  Leur- 
bost,  G.  Liurbost,  clayey  stead  (leir,  clay) ;  Cross- 
bost,  Cross-stead,  Rood-stead  ;  Calabost,  from 
kald,  cold,  possibly  from  Kali,  a  proper  name  ; 
Habost,  high  stead  ;  also  as  Tabost. 

Borg,  a  fort — Borve  or  Borgh  is  in  Barvas ; 
Boranish  in  Uig,  borgar-nes,  fort-ness  ;  Boreray, 
borgar-ey,  fort-isle  ;  Dun-bhuirgh ,,  a  hybrid  where 
dun  is  tautological. 

Biffi,  a  booth,  genitive  bu<5ar — Putharol,  bii'Sar-hol, 
hill  of  the  booth,  at  Roineval ;  Tom  Phutharol  at 
Gisla ;  in  the  Flannan  Isles  is  Mas  Phutharol, 
buttock  of  Puarol ;  Gearraidh  Phutharol  is  east 
of  Eristadh  in  Uig.  Putharam,  bu<5ar-holm, 
island  of  the  booth,  in  Loch  Roag.  (Cleite) 
Putharamarr,  bucSar-hamarr,  the  rock  of  the 
bothy.  These  examples  all  agree  in  the  change 
from  b  to  p. 

Dalr,  a  dale — Dell,  G.  Dail,  the  dale,  with  its 
divisions,  Dail  o'  dheas,  South  Dell,  and  Dail  o' 
thuath,  North  Dell ;  Laxdale,  G.  Lacasdail,  lax- 
ar-dalr,  salmon-river  dale  ;  Dibidale,  G.  Diobadail, 
deep  dale ;  Raonadail,  reyni-dalr,  rowan -dale ; 
Swordale,  G.  Suardail,  from  svorcfr,  sward,  grassy 
dale ;  Suaineagadail,  from  Sveinki,  a  derivative 
of  Sveinn,  Sweynki's  dale  ;  Bruadale,  bru-a-dalr, 
bridge-river  dale  ;  Eoradale,  G.  Eorradal,  eyrar- 
dalr,  beach -dale,  cf.  Erradale ;  Lundale,  G.  Lun- 
dal,  hlunn-dalr,  roller-dale  (hlunnr  was  a  roller 
for  launching  ships  ;  also,  a  piece  of  wood  put 
under  a  ship  when  beached  in  winter) ;  Capadal, 

266        PLACE-NAMES    OF   BOSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

kappa-dalr,    champion's    dale  ;     Ulladale,    Ulli's 
dale  ;  Langadale,  long  dale. 

Egg,  an  edge,  ridge — Eig  bheag  and  Eig  mhor, 
little  ridge  and  big  ridge  at  Bragar  moor  ;  Druim 
na  h-Eige,  back  of  the  ridge  (a  tautology),  at 
Galson.  Apt  to  be  confused  with  G.  eag,  a  notch. 

Ey,  an  island — appears  terminally  as  -a,  -ay,  G. 
-aidh.  Orasay  (a  common  name)  is  Orfris-ey, 
ebb-isle,  an  island  which  is  joined  to  the  mainland 
at  low  tides  ;  the  Gaelic  equivalent  is  Eilean 
Tioram,  Dry  Island  ;  Bernera,  Bjorn's  isle ; 
Vatersay,  vatns-ey,  water-isle  ;  Berisay,  bergs-ey, 
precipice-island ;  Captain  Thomas'  byrgis-ey  does 
not  suit  the  phonetics.  It  was  on  the  rock  of 
Berisay  that  Neil  Macleod  made  his  three  years' 
stand  (1610-1613),  before  he  was  ultimately 
captured  and  executed.1  Risay,  hris-ey,  brush- 
wood isle  ;  Rosaidh,  hross-ey,  horse-isle  ;  Eilean 
Tkorraidh,  Thori's  isle  ;  Pabay,  priest's  isle ; 
Rona,  hraun-ey,  rough  isle  ;  Stangraidh,  stangar- 
ey,  pole-isle  ;  Flodday,  fljot-ey,  float  isle  ; 
Tannray,  t-hafhar-ey,  haven -isle,  cf.  Tanera ; 
Vuya,  G.  Eilean  Bhuidha,  bu-ey,  house  isle  ; 
Valasay,  ?  hvalls-ey,  whale  isle. 

Eyrr,  a  beach — Eoropie,  G.  Eorrabaidh,  eyrar-boer, 
beach-town  ;  Earshader,  beach -settl ement  (saetr)  ; 
JEarrabhig,  eyrar-vik,  beach  bay  ;  Eirera,  beach- 

Fit,  meadowland  by  the  seaside  or  by  a  river — 
fidi-gearraidh,  Fitja-gerSr,  the  enclosed  meadow 
land ;  Fidi-geodha,  the  cove  of  the  pasture  land. 

1  Gregory,  History  of  the  Western  HigJdands,  p.  336. 

LEWIS.  267 

Fjara,  ebb-tide — Feori-seadar  (Fjori-shader),  fjoru- 
setr,  the  shieling  by  the  ebb-tide. 

Fjdll,  a  fell,  a  hill — terminal  as  -vol.  -al,  -bhal ; 
Hestaval,  hesta-fjall,  horse  or  stallion  hill ; 
Cleitshal,  rocky  hill,  from  klettr  ;  Grinnabal, 
green  hill ;  Mealasbhal,  1  Link-stead  fell ;  Soval, 
saucSa-fjall,  sheep-fell  ;  Cracabhal,  kraku-fjall, 
crow-fell  ;  Rdineval,  hraun-fjall,  rough-ground 
fell  ;  Suainebhal,  Sweyn's  fell. 

FjdySr,  a  firth — Loch  Seaforth,  G.  Loch  Sithphort, 
sja-fjor'Sr,  sea-firth ;  Loch  Hamasord,  G.  Loch 
Chainasort,  hvamms-fjorSr,  firth  of  the  grassy 
slope ;  Eilean  lubliard  or  Eu-ord,  ey-fjor'Sr,  isle- 
firth  (transferred  from  the  firth  to  the  island). 

Fors,  a  waterfall — Abhainn  an  Fhorsa,  Fall  river  ; 
Forsnaval,  Fall  fell ;  Forsnavat,  Fall  loch,  both 
with  suffixed  article. 

Gas,  goose — Gais'a-murr  or  Gashamurr,  goose  rock  ; 
Gas-cleite,  Gasclete,  goose-cliif ;  Gas-sker,  goose- 
skerry  :  Gasaval,  goose-fell  or  hill. 

Gjd,  a  cleft — borrowed  into  Gaelic  as  geodha  ;  from 
the  genitive  plural  gjar  we  get  Gidhur-ol,  hill  of 
the  rift  or  chasm. 

Gljufr,  an  abrupt  descent  in  the  bed  of  a  river, 
becomes  Globhur  ;  Loch  a  Ghlobhuir  (O.S.M. 
Loch  a'  Ghluair),  loch  of  the  abrupt  descent.  It 
also  appears  to  take  the  form  gleadhar  with  a 
Gaelic  plural  from  Gleadhairean  ;  Gleann  Ghleadh- 
arean,  in  Carloway  twice. 

Grof,  a  pit — Terminally  gro,  a  very  common  stream 
ending  ;  probably  originally  applied  to  streams 

268        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND   CROMARTY. 

which  cut  their  way  through  peat,  cf.  mo-grof,  a 
peat  trench ;  Allagro,  eels'  stream ;  Clisgro, 
klifs-gro,  stream  of  the  cliff ;  Hallagro,  hallr,  a 
slope,  stream  of  the  slope  ;  Hundagro,  stream  of 
the  dogs  ;  Molagro,  stream  of  the  pebbly  beach  ; 
Fidigro,  the  stream  of  the  meadow  land ;  fit 
means  meadow  land  by  the  seaside  or  by  a  river ; 
Allt  Miagro,  narrow  stream,  allt  being  pleonastic. 

Hals,  neck,  becomes  in  Gaelic  hais,  I  being  dropped 
before  s  ;  Gob  Hais,  point  of  the  neck,  at  North 
Tolsta,  where  there  is  a  neck  between  a  rock  and 
the  land. 

Hla"6a,  to  load — Lathamur,  hla'S-hamarr,  loading 
rock,  a  projecting  rock  where  ships  could  be 
loaded.  It  is  also  applied  to  steep  rocks  on  the 

Holl,  a  hill — Toll,  the  hill,  in  Barvas  and  elsewhere  ; 
Tollar,  a  ridge  at  Laimishader,  shows  the  plural 
hollar,  the  hills. 

Holmr,  a  holm,  islet,  appears  in  Gaelic  as  Tolm, 
whence  Duntuilm,  in  Skye  ;  terminally  it  shrinks 
to  (a)m.  Craigeam,  kraku-holmr,  crow-isle  ; 
Greinam,  green  isle  ;  Lingam,  heather-isle. 

Holt,    rough    hill   ground  —  Erisolt,    Erik's    rough 
pasture  or  outrun  ;  Neidalt,  neyt-holt,  the  rough 
cattle  outrun  ;  Sgianailt,  skjona-holt,  the  holt  of 
the  dappled  horse. 

Hross,  a  horse — Rossay,  hross-ey,  horse-island,  cf. 
Eilean  nan  Each  ;  Rosnish,  horse  point,  both  at 
Marvig  ;  Rossol,  hross-holl,  horse-hill,  at  Gress ; 
Rosnavat,  loch  of  the  horses,  on  Laxdale  Moor, 
with  the  article  suffixed ;  Rosmul,  hrossa-miili, 

LEWIS.  269 

the  ridge  of  the  horses  ;  Rosgil,  at  back  of  Cross- 
host,  the  gulley  of  the  horse. 

Klettr,  a  rock,  cliff — Loch  Rahadeit,  rau'Sr-klettr, 
red-cliff  ;  Breacleit,  from  breicSr,  broad-cliff ; 
Breasclete,  brei3-ass-klettr,  broad-ridge  cliff; 
Enaclete,  enni-klettr,  brow-cliff;  Loch  Mheatha- 
cleit,  mjo-klettr,  narrow-cliff;  Sgiobacleit,  skipa- 
klettr,  ship-cliff;  Eacleit,  ey-klettr,  island  cliff; 
Haclete  and  Taclete,  ha-klettr,  high-cliff. 

Kuml,  a  mound,  burial  place  (Lat.  cumulus) — 
Traigh  Chumtl,  beach  of  the  cairn. 

Mjo,  from  mjor,  narrow — Miagro,  G.  Meathagro, 
narrow  stream  ;  Meathadal,  or  Miadal,  the  narrow 
dale  ;  Meathanish,  or  Mianish,  the  narrow  ness  ; 
Meathacleit,  the  narrow  cliff;  Miasaid,  at  Loch 
Langavat  and  Loch  Skibacleit,  is  for  mjo-sund, 
narrow  sound  ;  also  Cnoc  a'  Mhiasaid  at  Raanish. 

Myrk,  dark — Mircavat,  dark  loch,  cf.  Gael.  Dubh- 
loch  ;  Mircol,  dark  hill,  at  Valtos  ;  Uamha 
Mhircol,  cave  of  the  dark  hill,  at  Uig. 

Nes,  a  ness,  cape — Shilldinish,  silda-nes,  herring- 
point ;  Steinish,  stone  -  point ;  Roishnish,  hross- 
nes,  horse-point;  Aignish,  egg-nes,  ridge  or 
edge  point ;  Stathanis,  stodvar-nes,  harbour- 
point  ;  Callanish  or  Callernish,  derived  by  Captain 
Thomas  from  kjalar-nes,  keel-ness  ;  but  as  there 
is  no  trace  of  the  kj  sound  in  the  Gaelic  pronoun- 
ciation,  this  must  be  regarded  doubtful ;  Aird 
Thoranish,  Thori's  point ;  Dun  Bhorranish. 
from  Borgar-nes,  fort-promontory  ;  Breidhnis, 
broad  ness  ;  Ranish,  roe  ness  ;  Linish,  flax  ness ; 
Phenish,  fe-nes,  sheep-ness  ;  Griamanais,  Grim's 

270        PLACE-NAMES    OF   BOSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

ness  ;  Arnish,  eagle-ness  ;  Drobhmish,  from  drofn, 
spotted  ness  ;  Bratanish,  from  brattr,  steep  ness  ; 
Altanish,  from  alft,  swan,  swan -ness ;  Rudha 
Robhanish  (the  Butt  of  Lewis),  from  rof,  an 
opening,  Hole-ness — with  reference  to  the  "  Eye 
of  the  Butt." 

Neyti,  from  naut,  cattle — Neidelan,  neyti-land, 
cattle  land,  at  Shader,  Barvas,  and  Mealista ; 
Neadavat,  neyti-vatn,  cattle  loch ;  Naidaval, 
cattle  hill;  Neadaclif,  the  cattle's  cliff;  Neidal, 
at  North  Tolsta,  cattle  dale. 
Papi,  priest — Pabbay.  priest's  isle  ;  Bayble,  priest's 

Sandr,  sand — Sandwich,  G.  Sandabhaig,  sandy  bay  ; 

Sandavat,  sandy  loch. 

Sauftr,  a  sheep — Soval,  sauQa-fjall,  sheep-hill,  thrice 
in  Lochs  ;  (Gearraidh)  Shoais,  sau'Sa-ass,  ridge  of 
the  sheep ;  Soray^  one  of  the  Flan  nan  isles, 
sau'Sar-ey,  sheep  isle. 

Setr,  a  residence,  mountain  pasture,  dairyland— 
Shader,  G.  Siadair  ;  Sheshader,  sja-setr,  sea- 
stead  ;  Cuidha-seadar,  kvia-setr,  fold  stead  ; 
Laimishader,  lamb-stead  ;  Linshader,  G.  Lisea- 
dair  (i  nasal),  flax-stead,  cf.  Linside,  G.  Lionasaid, 
in  Sutherland  ;  Kershader.  kjoir-setr,  copse-stead  ; 
Ungashader,  Ung's  stead  ;  Carishader,  Kari's 
stead  ;  Grimshader,  Grim's-stead  ;  Hamarshader, 
hammer  stead  ;  hamarr  means  a  hammer-shaped 
crag,  or  a  crag  standing  out  like  an  anvil ;  fruli- 
shader,  pillar  stead,  or  solan-geese  stead ; 
JSarshader,  G.  lar-seadair,  ?  beach -stead  ;  Hor- 
shader,  Thori's  stead. 

LEWIS.  271 

Sild,  a  herring — Shildinish,  herring  point ;  Sildam, 
sild-holm,  herring-isle. 

Skdli,  a  shieling,  plural  skalar —  Scailleir,  the 
shielings,  two  hills  south  of  Valtos,  Uig. 

Sker,  a  skerry  or  rock —  Vatisker,  vatns-sker,  water- 
skerry,  covered  at  high  tide ;  Mas-sgeir,  sea 
mew  skerry  ;  Sgarbh-sgeir,  Skarfs-sker,  Cormorant 
skerry  ;  Hunisgeir,  hiina-sker,  young  bear  skerry  ; 
but  Hiinn  may  be  a  proper  name  ;  Cleibisgeir, 
?from  kleppr,  a  plummet,  lump  ;  Cobha-sgeir,  kofa 
sker,  young  puffin  skerry. 

Skip,  a  ship — Sgiobadal,  ship  dale  ;  Sgioba-geodha 
in  Rona,  ship  cove. 

Stcffir,  a  farm,  stead,  appears  terminally  as  -sta. 
Tolsta,  Tollosta  (Blaeu),  Toll's  stead;  Mealasta, 
Link's  stead,  from  melr  ;  Scarasta,  Skara-sta^r, 
from  skari,  a  young  sea-mew ;  Eirasta,  beach- 
stead  ;  Grimersta,  Grim's  stead  ;  Sgiogarsta, 
Skeggi's  stead  ;  Mangarsta,  miinka-staSr,  Monks' 
stead  ;  Torastaigh,  Thori's  stead ;  Cabharstaigh, 
?  kafa-sta^r,  diving-stead. 

Stoft,  a  harbour — Stathanis,  near  the  Butt ;  Port  a' 
Stoth,  south  of  it.  a  tautology. 

Sund,  a  sound — Miasaid,  a  name  recurring  several 
times,  mjo-sund,  narrow  sound. 

Tjorn,  a  small  lake,  tarn — (Loch  an)  Tighearna  in 

,  a  heap  of  stones  on  the  sea  beach,  or  from  a 
landslip — Urranan,  at  Barvas  Moor,  with  Gaelic 
plural ;  Loch  Urradhag  or  Ourahag,  urS-vik,  the 
bay  of  the  heap  of  stones,  near  Arnol ;  another 
place  of  the  same  name  is  at  the  Carloway  shore. 

272        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

Vdgr,  a  creek,  bay,  appears  as  -way,  -ay,  ;  Gael. 
-bhaidh,  -aidh.  Carloway,  Karl's  bay  ;  Storno- 
way,  G.  Steornabhadh.  stj6rnar-vagr,  steerage 
bay  or  rudder  bay  ;  cf.  Loch  Steornua  in  Argyle  ; 
Loch  Thealasbhaigh,  hellis-vagr,  cave-bay  ;  Leir- 
avay,  G.  Leurabhaigh,  muddy  bay ;  leir,  mud  ; 
Loch  Thamnabhaigh,  hafnar-vagr,  harbour-bay ; 
c£  Hamiiavoe  and  Hamnadale  in  Shetland ; 
Tarravay,  Thara-vagr,  seaweed  bay. 

Vatn,  water,  a  lake,  appears  terminally  as  -vat, 
Gael.  -bhat.  Grinnavat,  green  loch  ;  Sandavat, 
sandy  loch  ;  Ullavat,  Ulli's  loch ;  Langavat,  long 
loch ;  Baccavat,  ridge  loch  ;  Tarstavat,  t-hjarta- 
vatn,  stag  loch  ;  Lingavat,  heather  loch  ;  Gros- 
avat,  grassy  loch  ;  Allavat,  eels'  loch  ;  Raoinavat, 
reyni-vatn,  rowan  loch  ;  Scaravat,  young  sea-mew 
loch  ;  Breivat,  broad  loch ;  Maravat,  gull  loch ; 
Drollavat,  from  troll,  haunted  loch ;  Laxavat, 
salmon  river  loch  ;  Tungavat,  tongue-shaped  loch  ; 
Seavat,  sja-vatn,  sea  loch  ;  Strandavat,  strand 
loch  ;  Loch  Mhileavat  (from  milli,  between), 
between  (the)  lochs  ;  Stacsavat,  stakks-a-vatn, 
stack -river  loch. 

ViJc9  bay,  appears  terminally  as  -uig,  -bhic ;  hence 
the  parish  of  Uig.  Miavaig,  mjo-vik,  narrow 
bay  ;  Kiriwick,  from  kyrr,  quiet  bay ;  Seilibhig, 
seal  bay  ;  Breivig,  broad  bay ;  EaravicJc,  G.  lara- 
bhaig,  beach  bay ;  Fivig,  G.  Fiabhaig,  fjar-vik, 
sheep  bay  ;  Smiuig,  Cave  bay  ;  Brataig,  steep 
bay  ;  Maravaig,  sea-gull  bay  ;  Nasabhig,  nose 
bay  ;  Glumaig,  Glumr's  bay  ;  Islivig,  is-hli^-vik, 
ice-slope  bay. 



Gleann  a'  G/irdig,  between  Strathcarron  and  Cam  Bhren. 
The  large  flat  rock  where  tinkers  camp  by  the  roadside 
between  Ardgay  and  Fearn  is  Leac  a'  Ghraig. 
Eileag  Bada  Ckallaidh  (also  eileag  Bad-cailidh),  the  Eileag 
of  the  Hazel  Clump  (near  Amat).  For  eileag  see  Sianna 
h-Eileig.  With  callaidh  cf.  BeaJack  Collaidh.  There 
used  to  be  a  saying  in  Kincardine  that  the  people  of  old 
could  never  be  starved  into  submission  so  long  as  they 
held  Eileag  Bada  Challaidh  and  Gairidh  Ginn-ihardain, 
the  weir  of  Kincardine.  This  famous  salmon  weir  was 
near  the  Parish  Church,  and  its  name  survives  in  Eilean 
na  Cairidh,  Isle  of  the  Weir,  now  a  nice  field  reclaimed 
from  the  sea. 
Leac  a'  C/ilamhain—  Flagstone  of  the  Kite,  is  a  flat  stone 

near  the  U.F.C.  Manse  ;   cf.  Gledficld. 
P.  4.  Alltan  nam  Fuath — Burnlet  of  the  Spectres,  comes  through 

the  Gearrchoill,  Short  Wood,  not  Garbh  Choille. 
Conachreig — Combination    of   rocks  ;   cf.     Cona   Glen,    G. 

Conaghleann,  etc. 
Allt  fC  Bhramain — the  Devil's  Burn,  flows  through  Ard- 


Caoilisidh — the  Place  of  the  Narrow. 

An  Claigionn — the  Skull,  is  a  hillock  near  Caolaig  Bridge. 
Also,    Ach-a-Chlaiginn,  Field  of  the  Skull ;  An  Cragan 
Soilleir,  the  bright  little  rock  ;  Poll  nan  Gobliar,  Goats' 
Slack  ;  Creag  Ghlas,  Gray  Rock. 
P.  5.  Clais  a'  Bkaid-choill—H.&zel  Clump  Dell. 
P.  6.  Crianbhad — Small  Clump  or  Withered  Clump,  not  Grian- 
bhad  of  O.S.M. 


274        PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS    AND    CROMARTY. 

P.  7.  Coylum,  better  from  cuing-leum  ;  same  meaning. 
P.  9.  Bard,   common  in  the  Heay  Country,  and   derived  from 
English   ward  ;   not  Norse.      Asaireadh  or    asaradh  is 
elsewhere  fasanadh,  good  hill  pasture. 

P.  11.  Meall  na  h-ugaig,  not  Meall  na  Cuachaige.      The  latter  is 
the  O.S.M.  form,  which  I  was  wrongly  informed  to  be 
correct.     ?  cf.  Sron  'n  ugaidh. 
P.  11.  Coire  Bhenneit — Near  Meall  Bhenneit. 
P.  12.  Creag(a)  Raoiridh  means  Ryrie's  Rock ;  cf.  Leac  Roithridh. 
P.  15.  Loch  Struaban.      The  MS.  referred  to  is  in  the  Advocates' 

Library,  Edinburgh. 
P.  15.  On  last  line  read  dheirg. 
P.  16.  Abhainn  dubhach — Unverified  and  doubtful. 

„      Allt  Coire  Ruchain,  not  Allt  coir  an  Ru chain  (O.S.M,). 
P.  17.  Allt  Eileag — Doubtless  means  Burn  of  Eileag's  ;  for  eileag, 

v.  p.  237,  and  cf.  Eileag  Bada-Challaidh. 
„      Oykell,  G.  Oiceil. 
P.  20.  Achnagart — read  enclosures. 


Altnamain — -the  Inn  is  called   Tigh   a'    Mhinaidh,  Moor 

House  ;  also  often  "  the  Half-way  House." 
Cnoc  a'  Chlaiyinn — Skull  Hill,   a  little  to   the  south  of 

Easter  Fearn ;  otherwise  called 

Cnoc  Dubh  eadar  da  Allt  a'  Chlaiginn — Black  Hill  between 
two  burns  of  the  Skull.  Here  tradition  locates  a  Scan- 
dinavian treasure. 

P.  25.  Baile  na'  Foitheachan  means  Stead  of  the  places  of  lawns  or 
greens  ;  faitkche.  has  come  to  be  sounded  foi' ;  cf.  Foy 

P.  26.  Pollagharry — Pool  of  the  Cutting ;  a  thunderbolt  once  fell 
here,  and  made  a  cutting  in  the  soil.       Gearraidh  in  the 
other  sense,  N.  gerfri,  is  not  found  on  the  Mainland. 
F.  27.  1.  8,  for  "seems  to  be"  read  "is." 

„      Daan,  cf.  In ti eduction,  p.  1. 

P.  28.  Cnocan  na  Goibhnidh  should  probably  be  Cnocan  na 
Gaimhne,  Hillock  of  the  Stirks. 


P.  29.  Allt  na  Con-each  read  Allt  ncC  Coireach. 

P.  30.  Cnoc  Thorcaill  (O.S.M.),  read  Cnoc  Chorcaill  ;  also  Coire 

„      Cnoc  a'  Chlachain  :  the  clachan  in  question  was  rather  the 

old  church  of  Kincardine. 
P.  31.  Dun  Alaisgaig  means  the  Fort  of  All's  Strip,  N.  Ali-skiki. 


P.  32.  Baile-Dhubhthaich  boidheach,  Dornoch  na  goirt, 
Sciobul  nan  ubhlan,  's  Bil  an  arain  choirc  ; 
Eiribul  nan  coileagan,  Dim-Robain  a'  chail, 
Goillspidh  nan  sligean  dubh,  's  Drum-muigh  a'  bharr. 
This,  one  of  our  best  known  topographical  rimes,  charac- 
terises  Tain,    Dornoch,    Skibo,    Bil,    Embo,    Dunrobin, 
Drummuie.     Translation  spoils  it. 

P.  35.  Cnoc  nan  Aingeal  is  the  small  hill,  now   cut    through  by 
the  railway,  north-west  of  the  old  chapel ;  the  road  to 
the  cemetery  crosses  the  cutting  by  a  bridge. 
„      Cnocanmealbhain  :  read  Cnocan  Mealbhain,  Hillock  of  the 

best  grass. 
P.  36.  An  aideal   cannot  come   from  N.   vafrill  ;  Norse  &  would 

here  disappear  in  Gaelic. 
P.  37.  1.  3,  drochaid  an  obh:  bh  is  here  sounded  long;  pronounced 

ow,  with  a  lingering  emphasis  on  w. 
P.  38.  Muileann  and  Allt  Luaidh  :  better  Luathaidh. 
P.  40.  1.  14,  read  dhuibh, 


P.  41.  Balmuchy  :  muchaidh  may  be  Pictish,  cf.  Welsh  mochyn,  a 
pig.  If  so  the  old  form  would  have  been  Pitmuchy, 
with  which  cf.  Pitmachie  in  Strathbogie. 

P.  43.  Allan  :  Clay  of  Allan  is  in  G.  Criadhach  Alain  Mhoir, 
Clayey  Place  of  Meikle  Allan.  The  criadhach  is  a 
Gaelic  echo  of  Pictish  Allan,  meaning  apparently  "  a 
swampy  place."  Cf.  the  Pictish  Lovat,  root  lovt  wash  ; 
translated  into  Gaelic  as  a  Mkor'oich,  the  sea  plain. 

P.  45.  1.  10,  read  a'  chailleach. 

1.  14,  read  Got ;  so  also  in  1.  16,  and  p.  48,  1.  29. 

P.  47.  1.  8,  read  Rocktield. 



P.  51.  Pitcalnie,  G.  Baile-chailnidh  :  tliis  difficult  name  may  be 
from  the  root  seen  in  Gaulish,  caleto-,  hard,  representing 
a  primitive  Caletoniacon. 

P.  53.  Big  Audle  :  derivation  possible  but  doubtful.    G.  not  found. 
P.  54.  Sul  Ba,  read  Suil  Ba. 
P.  56.  1.  11,  read  dhuibh. 

„      11.  12,  13,  for  an  port  read  am  port. 
P.  57.  1.  'JO,  read  toin. 


At  Shandwick  Farm  is  a  tiny  burn  called  Dourag,  the 
Little  Water,  from  O.G.,  dobur ;  of.  Aldourie,  Dores,  in 
G.  Dobhrag. 


P.  63.  1.  23,  read  Smiths'. 

Apitauld  :  the  first  syllable  is  aiht  a  kiln.      There  was  of 

old  a  kiln  close  to  the  site  of  the  present  smithy,  and 

the  name  applies  only  to  that  spot.     The  old  ford  on  the 

Balnagown  Water  was  lower  down. 
High  up  on  the  hill  above  Inchandown  Farm   is   Clack 

Seipeil    Odhair,    Stone   of   the    Dun   Chapel  ;    a   large 

granite  boulder,  which  is  now  near  the  Newmore  march, 

and  of  old  probably  formed  part  of  it. 
P   68.  Strathrory  :  uar  in  the  Reay  Country  means  a  landslip,  as 

well  as  a  torrent  of  rain  ;  near  the  Coag  there  are  great 

slides  of  boulder  clay  on  the  steep  banks  of  the  river. 

Cf.  Allt  Uaraidh,  behind  Abriachan,  Inverness. 
Plubag,  the  little  "  plumping  "  place  ;  from  a  tiny  gurgling 

burn ;  cf .  an  Uidh  Phlubach. 


P.  70.  Invergordon  :  in  G.  an  fiud/w,  the  Point  ;  "I  was  in 
Invergordon,"  bha  mi  air  an  Rudha.  I  have  also  heard 
Rudha  Nach-breacaidh.  Port  Nach-breacaidh,  Invergor- 
don Ferry. 

P.  71.  Achnacloich  :  G.  Ach'  na  Cloi',  Field  of  the  Stone.  There 
must  have  been  one  stone  in  some  way  remarkable.  In 
point  of  fact,  there  are  some  very  large  travelled 
boulders  of  granite  in  the  place. 


P.  72. 'Above    Cuillich    is   BaiV   a'    Mhuilaich,    Summit    Stead. 
Cuillich  itself  G.,  Cuinglich,  is  better  taken  as  cuing- 
laich,  from  cuinge,  narrowness.     The  meaning  is  in  any 
case  the  same. 
„      Coire-ghoibhnidh  :  better  Coire  Ghaimhne,  Stirk  Corry. 

P.  73.  1.  2.  Mylne-cliaggane  of  the  record  is  still  remembered  as 
Muikann  a'  Chlagain,  Mill  of  the  Clapper.  It  was  on 
the  Strathrusdale  river  (or  Black  River),  about  200 
yards  from  its  junction  with  the  Averon.  The  straight, 
steep  road,  a  quarter  of  a  mile  west  of  Tolly  Farm, 
between  the  public  road  and  the  White  Bridge  on 
Averon  was  of  old,  "  before  it  was  made,"  called  Cadha 
Fionntain,  Finntan's  Path,  obviously  an  ancient  name. 
Nearly  a  mile  east  of  Dalnacloich  Farm,  in  the  march 
between  Newmore  and  Ardross,  and  close  to  the  south 
side  of  the  public  road,  is  a  big  granite  block  called  now 
Clack  Ceann-a-mkeoir,  as  if  Stone  of  the  Finger-tip. 
The  story  goes  that  here  a  lad's  finger  point  was  cut  off 
to  ensure  his  recollecting  the  position  of  the  march.  In 
1571  it  appears  in  an  account  of  the  marches  of  New- 
more  as  "  the  marchstone  called  Clachinnumoir,"  which 
suggests  the  real  name  to  be  Clack  an  Neo'  Mhoir, 
Stone  of  Newmore,  of  which  the  modern  form  is  a 

*•  ALNESS. 

P.  75.  Alness  :  cf.  also  Alauna,  Alaunos,  and  Alaunium  in  Gaul 

(Holder  :  Alt-Celtischer  Sprachshatz). 
P.  76.  Balnacraig  :  parts  of  Balnacraig  Farm,  north  of  the  public 

road,  are  called  Caoilisidk,  the  narrow  place  or  stripe  ; 

and  the  Sial  ;  cf.  siaban,  a  sand  drift. 
Dalgheal  is  locally  pronounced  in  G.  Dail-ghil,  a  locative 

form   meaning   "  at  the  white  dale."      In  English  it  is 

pronounced  Dal-yil,  thus  proving  its  identity  with  the 

common  Dalziel. 
P.  77    F ' yrisk:  the  spelling  Foireis  is  inadequate:  rather  Faoighris. 

I  fear  that  the  name  is  Pictish. 


P.  78.  A',i  Lainn :  also  called  Lainn  a*  Choirc,  the  Oat-flat  or 
enclosure.  The  Blar  Borraich  is  a  somewhat  extensive 
moor,  and  covers  more  than  is  contained  in  Lainn.  The 
narrow  spit  of  land  between  Allt  nan  Caorach  and  the 
Allt  Granda  at  their  junction  is  an  t-Eilean  Dubh,  the 
Black  Isle— a  peninsula. 

„      Meall  an  Tuirc  :  from  some  points  near  Glenglass  School 
this  hill  is  the  perfect  picture  of  a  colossal  boar. 

P.  79.  Cnoc  Coille  Bhrianain  I  have  now  got  as  Cnoc  Gille  Mo- 
Bhrianaig,  Hill  of  the  follower  of  St  Brendan.  This  is 
doubtless  the  genuine  form.  On  Cnocan,  the  Hillock,  in 
Glenglass,  are  Blar  nan  Ceann  and  Fuaran  Blar  nan 
Ceann,  Moor  of  the  Heads  and  Well  of  the  Moor  of  the 
Heads,  with  legend  of  a  combat.  At  Tigh  na  Creige 
moss  is  Fuaran  Bod-muice.  Fuaran  Dhruim  Dhuibh 
Ruigh  Bhannaich,  Well  of  the  Black  Ridge  of  the 
Bannock-slope,  is  behind  Cnoc  na  Mbine,  Moss-Hill,  in 
Glenglass.  Fuaran  Seachd-goil,  Well  of  seven  Boilings, 
is  at  Ruigh  'n  Fhuarain,  Well-slope,  between  Boath  and 
Glenglass.  It  is  said  to  bubble  up  through  the  sand  in 
seven  distinct  jets.  Torr  a'  Bholcain  is  a  knoll  near  the 
path  between  B.  and  G.  as  one  comes  in  sight  of 
Swordale.  Torran  Dubh  Gob  na  Coille,  Black  knoll  (at 
the)  Point  of  the  Wood,  is  near  the  same  path  where  the 
burn  bends  at  right  angles  near  the  Boath  peat-mosses. 
There  is  not  a  vestige  of  wood  anywhere  near  it. 
Clack  nam  Ban,  The  Women's  Stone,  is  north  of  Kilder- 
morie ;  so  called  from  some  women  having  perished 
there  in  a  snowstorm  while  crossing  from  Strathcarron. 
A'  Chlach  Goil,  the  Boiling  Stone,  is  on  the  drove  road 
between  Strathrusdale  and  Ardgay.  Those  who  used 
the  road  boiled  water  there. 

P.  83.  Multovy,  better  Pictish  Moltomagos,  wedder  plain.  The 
original  Multovy  was  the  level  part ;  west  of  it,  now  part 
of  the  farm,  was  Baile  nan  Seobhag,  Hawks'  Stead.  The 
long  Clais  at  the  back  was  reclaimed  within  the  last 
thirty  years  or  so. 


P.  83.  Ceislein  :  there  are  two,  viz.,  Ceislein  a'  Choire  Dhuibh  and 
Ceislein  a'  Choire  Bhreac  (sic).  For  meaning  cf.  Ceis 
Coraind,  Sow  of  Corann,  the  name  of  a  hill  in  Ireland. 
,,  Averon :  the  termination  -on,  more  probably  represents 
primitive  -ona  ;  Pictish.  On  the  Averon  below  the 
intake  to  Dalmcre  is  Poll  d  Charrachaidh. 


South  of  Loch  Glass  is  a  rocky  place  called  an  Fhiaclaich, 
the  Place  of  Teeth  (O.S.M.  Feachdach)  ;  also  Beul  no, 
Fiaclaich,  Mouth  of  the  Tooth-place,,  and  Coire  Granda 
na  Fiaclaich,  Ugly  Corry  of,  etc.  Near  this  is  Afeall  a' 
Chrimeig  (long  m).  At  west  end  of  Caoilisidh,  above 
the  Lodge,  is  Meall-a-Bheithinnidh  (?  Mheithinnidh) — 
close  ei ;  cf.  Bealach  Bheithinnidh.  West  of  it  is  an 
Toman  Coinnich,  the  Mossy  Knoll,  and  between  the  two 
is  Creay  'ic  Gille  Ch&r,  Rock  of  the  son  of  the  Swarthy 

P.  87.  Balcony  :  the  narrow  flat  between  the  Allt  Granda  and 
Allt-na-Sgiach  to  the  south  of  the  public  road  is  known 
in  Gaelic  as  Innis  a'  Choltair,  Coulter  Mead.  There  is 
also  Sgorr  a'  Choltair,  Point  of  the  Coulter,  in  Glenglass. 
Collar  is  an  early  Irish  loan  from  Lat.  cutter,  and  seems 
to  have  been  applied  to  places  from  their  shape,  as  it  was 
to  the  razorbill  (coltraich),  from  the  form  of  his  bill.  Cf. 
Portincoulter,  the  old  name  for  the  Meikle  Ferry,  where 
there  is  a  coulter-shaped  point  on  the  Ross  side.  The 
various  Culters  and  Coulters,  popularly  derived  from 
citl-t\r,  back  land — a  rather  harsh  and  doubtful  formation 
— may  be  compared.  They  are  now  pronounced  Couter, 
in  early  spelling  Cultyr,  which  phonetically  represents 
the  Scottish  pronunciation  before  /  became  silent. 

P.  91.   Glaon  Uachdarack,  Upper  Clyne,  is  now  Woodlands. 

P.  92.  On  Allt  na  Lathaid  is  Drochaid  na  Lathaid,  otherwise 
Drochaid  Chrabart.  Feith  Dhubh  'ic  Gillandrais,  Gil- 
landers'  Black  Hag,  is  said  to  be  on  the  march  between 
Tulloch,  Kildermorie,  and  Dianaich. 

280         PLACE-NAMES    OF   ROSS   AND    CROMARTY. 

P.  93.  Bealach  Collaidh  is  the  gap  between  Inchbae  and  Coire- 
bhacaidh.  Near  it  is  Bealach  nam  Brbg,  Gap  of  the 
Brogues,  the  scene  of  a  famous  fight  between  the 
Munros  and  the  Mackenzies. 


P.    146.    1.  8,  read  failligh. 

1.  12,  for  "of  "read  "  cf." 


Clack  Und(ajrain  (possibly  Chund(a)rain)  is  at  the  head 
of  Strathconon.     *?  Cf.  Coire  Chundrain. 

P.  154.  Main,  G.  Meinn,  is  at  the  present  day  understood  to 
denote  the  district  of  which  Porin  is  part.  This  is  about 
three  miles  east  of  Invermany.  In  view  of  its  being  a 
district  name  it  is  difficult  to  connect  \vith  G.  meinn,  ore  ; 
more  probably  Pictish  ;  ?  root  seen  in  G.  meith,  sappy ; 
Welsh  mwydo,  soften. 
Conon  Bridge  is  in  G.  Drochaid  SguideiL 


P.  179.  Inverinate.  For  the  dropping  of  dh  in  Inbhir-dhuinnid, 
cf.  ,  Inver-uglas  for  Inbhir-dhubhghlais  ;  Aberdeen,  G. 
Obair-eatham  for  Obair-dheathaiu.  The  possibility  of 
this  dropping  of  dk  is  always  worth  considering  in  cases 
where  Inver  or  Aber  is  immediately  followed  by  a  vowel 
in  Gaelic  pronunciation,  e.g.,  Abriachan,  G.  Ob'r- 


P.  199.  Coire  Fionnaraich — fionnar,  cool  is  from  fionn-  or  ionn- 
to,  against,  and  fuar ;  M.  Ir.  indfhuar. 


About  a  mile  west  of  Airigh-Dhriseack,  Bramble  Shieling, 
is  Draoraig,  N.  dreyr-vik,  Blood  Bay. 


P.  221.  1.  4,  faithir  is  probably  fo-thir,  under-land  ;  it  can 
hardly  be  the  Irish  fachair. 


P.  229.  Rudha  an  t-Sasain  :  the  Sasan  is  a  rock  on  the  lee  side  of 
which  boats  ride  by  the  painter,  which  affords  the  most 
satisfactory  explanation  of  the  name. 

P.  239.  Loch  na  Fideil  :  the  Fideal,  whose  haunt  was  in  this  loch, 
was  at  last  encountered  by  a  strong  man  named 
Eoghainn.  "  Bha  comhrag  eadar  Eoghainn  agus  an 
Fhideal.  '  Ceum  air  do  cheum,  Eoghainn,'  ars'  an 
Fhideal,  's  i  teannadh  air  an  duine.  *  Ceum  air  do 
cheum,  a  Fhideil,'  ars'  E6ghainn,  's  e  teannadh  air  an 
Fhideil  a  rithist.  Mharbh  Eoghainn  an  Fhideal,  agus 
mharbh  an  Fhideal  Eoghainn."  There  was  a  combat 
between  Ewen  and  the  Fideal.  "  A  step  on  your  step, 
Ewen,"  said  the  Fideal,  pressing  on  the  man.  "  A  step 
on  your  step,  Fideal,"  said  Ewen,  pressing  hard  in  turn. 
Ewen  killed  the  Fideal,  and  the  Fideal  killed  Ewen.  (It 
is  worth  noting  that  the  Fideal  is  feminine.) 

P.  255.  Glutan,  G.  Glotan. 

Bad-a-Chrbnaidh  and  Clais  Bad-a-Chrbnaidh  are  at  Bad- 
rallach  ;  cf.  Ardchronie. 



NOTE. — The  stress  accent  is  indicated  by  a  full  stop  placed  before  the  accented 
syllable  ;  e.y,  Ach.duart  is  accented  on  the  second  syllable,  .Achilty  on  the  first* 
In  the  case  of  obsolete  names  the  accent  is  usually  left  unmarked. 

Abbey  of  Fearn,  xix.,  40 
Abhainn  a'  Chro,  176 
Abhainn   an    .Fhasaigh, 

Abhainn  an  .Fhorsa,  267 

—  .Bhuadhchaig,  198 

—  .Bruachaig,  232 

—  .Chonnain,  151 

—  .Coilich,  183 

—  .Conag,  176 

—  .Croean,  201 

—  .Gaorsaig,  182 

—  .Dhroma,  252 

—  Ghlas,  220 

—  Gleann  na  Muice,  242 

—  Gruididh,  166 

—  lii,  230 

—  na  Ftiirneis,  234 

—  nan  Eun,  90 

—  nan  .Leumannan,  228 

—  .Poibliclh,  18 

—  .Kaonaidh,  256 

—  Ruadh,  221 

—  .Seile,  171 

—  .Siaghaidh,  182 

—  Srath  na   Sealg,   243 

—  Traill,  210 
Abianemoir,  74 
.Acairseid  .Ghiuthais,  224 
Ach-a-bhanaidh,  193 
Ach-a-bhraigh,  258 
Ach-a-.chonalaich,  184 
Ach-a-dhachd,  176 
Achadh     an    Droighean, 


—  Cul-a-Mhill,   218 

—  da  .Tearnaidh,  185 

—  Ghill-Iosa,  21 

—  gbitirain,  171 

—  nan  .Uirighean,  228 
Ach'  a'   .Ghargaiu,  185 

Achan.ault,  160 
Achan.darach,  185 
Ach.arn,  81 
Ach.duart,  258 
Achen.drean,  256 
Achen.inver,  258 
Ach.iarnaig,  109 
Achilti.buie,  259 
.Achilty,  148 
Achimmoir,  59 
Achin.drean,  252 
Achin.tee,  195 
Achin.toul,  70 
Achin.traid,   193 
Ach.leach,  89 
Ach.lochan,  258 
Ach.lorachan,  155 
Ach.lunachan,  252 
Ach. martin,  120 
Ach.more,  184,  250 
Ach'  nan  .Cairidhean,  256 
Achna. carry,  115 
Achna.clerach.  163 
Achna. cloich,  71 
Achna.garron,  70 
Achna.  gart,  20,  172 
Achna. goul,  78 
Ach'  na  Fuirneis,  234 
Ach'  na  h-Airde,  261 
Achna.  hannet,  19 
Achna. hinich,  185 
Ach  na  h-Uamhach,  19 
Achna. sheen,  161 
Achna.shelloch,  196 
Achna.  soul,  106 
Achna.taghart,  172 
Ach-negie,  243 
Ach-railean,  53 
Ach  -  ruigh-'n  -  fheadhail, 

Achta.bannock,  106 

Achtay.toralan,  186 
Achter.cairn,  226 
Achter.need,  97 
Aeh.vanie,  200 
Aideal,  36 
.Aignish,  269 
.Airceal,  247 
Aird  of  .Coigach,  261 
Aird  .Thoranish,  269 
Airde  Bhan,  203 
Airie.cheirie,  170 
Airigh  Fhliuch,  5 

—  nam  Bard,  217 

—  nan  .Cruineachcl,  206^ 


—  nan  .Druineach,  215 
.Alcaig,    115 
Aldain.albanache,  60 
Aldanaherar,  74 
.Aldie,  35 
.Alladale,  8,  22 
.Allagro,  272 

.Allan,  43,  75,  137 
.Allanfield,  94 
Allanglack,    137 
Allan. grange,  137,   137 
.Allavat,  272 
.Allerton,  126 
Allt  a'  Bhaid-choill,  245 

—  a'  Bhaid.Rabhain,  244 

—  a'     Bhealaich      Eidh- 

eannaich,  92 

—  a'  .Bhraniain,  273 

—  a'  .Chaoldoire,  221 

—  a'  Chlaiginn,  15 

—  a'  Choir'  Aluinn,  156 

—  a'  Choire  Rainich,  102 

—  a'  .Chonais,  199 

—  a'  .Chuingleum,  230 



Allta'  ChuirnDheirg,  204 

—  a'  Ghlais-atha,  11 

—  a'  Ghlastuil  Mhoir,  165 

—  a'  Ghuail,  15 

—  a'  Mheirbh  -  ghiuthais 


—  a'  Mhuilinn,  246 

—  an  t-Sagairt,  195 

—  an  Damhain,  52 

—  an  Bilein  Ghuirm,  102 

—  an  .Fhasaidh,  152 

—  an  .Leothaid   .Ghain- 

eamhaich,  177 

—  an  Leth-ghlinne,  248 

—  an     Euigh     Shleagh- 

aich,   199 

—  an  t-Srathain,  255 

—  an  .Turaraich,  218 

—  an  Uisge  Mhath,  248 

—  Beithe,  165 

—  Chill  .Eiteachan,  255 

—  .Clachach,  36 

—  Coir'  a'   .Chliabhain, 


—  Coir  a'  Chundrain,  102 

—  Coire  Lair,  176 

—  .Coire     Mhaileagain, 


—  Coire  Rol,  209 

—  Coire  .Ruchain,  274 

—  Doir-.ithigean,    199 

—  .Domhain,  9 

-  .Dubhach,  123 

—  .Dubhag,  92 

-  .Ducharaidh,  161 

—  .Ealag,   17 

—  .Eiginn,  246 

—  .Eiteachan,  3 

-  .Folais,  86,  87,  243 

—  Giuthas,  224 

-  .Granda,  90,  205 

-  Grugaig,  30 

—  Gus-ligh,  168 

-  Lair,  169 

—  .Luathaidh,  38 

—  .Mhucarnaich,  169 

—  .Miagro,  268 

—  nan  .Albanach,  60 

—  na  Bana-mhorair,  102 

—  na  Cailce,  91 

—  na  Faic,  152 

—  nan  Cnuimheag,  81 

—  nan  Coisichean,  258 

—  na  Fainich,  154 

—  na  .Fuaralaich,  72 

—  na  .Fuirrid,  79 

—  na  Glomaich,  181 

Allt  na  Guaille,  205 

Arda.chulish,  164 

—  na  h-Annaid,  155 

Ard  an  t-Sabhail,  173 

—  na  Moine,  205 

Ard.charnaich,  253 

—  na  h-Uamhach,  220 

Ard.chronie,  3,  281 

Alltna.main,  28 

Ard.darroch,  193 

Allt  nam  Biast,  218 

Ar.delve,  186 

—  na  .Mucarachd,  205 

Ard.essie,  245 

—  nan  Caorach,  90 

Arde.vall,  126 

—  nan  Corp,  216 

Ard.  gay,  4 

—  .Ormaidh,  238 

Ard.heslaig,  207 

—  .Rapach,  16 

Ardin.caple,  85,  86. 

—  .Rapaidh,  68 

Ardindrean,  251 

—  .Ruisteil,   260 

Ardi.val,  35,  99 

—  .Saraig,  220 

Ard.jachie,  33 

—  Tarsuiiin,  16,  68 

Ard.lair,  234 

—  .Tausamhaig,  205 
—  Toll  an  .Lochain,  246 

Argyle,  xv. 
Ard.mair,  255 

-  Uamh'  a'  Chleibh,  221 

Ard.raeaaach,   126,    130, 

—  .Undalain,  175 


Alltan  Domhnuil,  5 

Ard.mhanaidh,  27 

—  Labhar,  212 

Ard.more,  26 

—  Mailis,   167 

Ard  na  Claise  Moire,  205 

—  Rabhraidh,  185 

Ardnadoler,  49 

Almaddow,  74 

Ardnagaag,  68 

Almond,  1. 

Ardna.goine,  260 

.Alness,  75 

Ardna.grask,  109 

Altan.dow,  260 

Ard  na  h-.Eigheamh,  255 

.Altanish,  270 

Ardnan.iaskin,   194 

.Altas,  18 

Ard  nan  Long,  253 

Alt.greshan,  227 

Ard.narff,   184 

Altua.breac,  163 

.Ardoch,  82 

Altna.harra,  224 

.Ardochdainn,  125,  193 

Alt-na-.harrie,  250 

Ai'd.ross,   71 

Altna.lait,  92 

Ard.roy,  76 

Altna.skiach,  89 

Ard-tulach,  178 

Alun,  76 

Ar.dullie,  88 

.Amat,  6,  18 

Ari.drishaig,  216 

An  Airceal,  247 

Ari.nackaig,  196 

An  Da  Mhas,  207 

.Arity,  107 

Anan.caun,  231 

.Arkaig,  106 

.Ankerville,  53 

Arklet,  106 

Annat,  53,  154,  155,  209, 

.Arnish,  270 

249,  Ixiv. 

Arnoche,  126 

Aoineadh  air  chrith,  174 

.Arpa.feelie,   136 

Aoinidh,  173 

Arrie,  140 

Apit.auld,  63,  276 

.Arscaig,  189 

.Applecross,  201,  xiv.,  Ix. 

.Arta.faillie,  146 

Applecross  Mains,  204 

Arthreis,  49 

Arabella,  59 

.Assarrow,  82 

.Aradie,  107 

.Assvnt,  78 

Araird,  212 

Ath  Darack,  209 

Arar,  107 

.Athan  .Salach,  45 

.Arboll,  47 

.Attadale,  195,  205 

.Arcan,  108 

Auch.ederson,  106 

Arcan.deith,   106,  133 

Auchna.gullane,  21 

.Ardach,  186 

Auchnen.tyne,  123 

Ardachath,  74                          Auch.onachie,   107 



Auch.oyle,  64 

Bad-sgalaidh,  84 

Auchta.scailt,  246 

Bail'  a'  Bhlair,  139 

Auchter.flow,  134 

Bail'  a"  .Mhinistir,  208 

Auchter.tyre,  186 

—  an  Achaidh,  6 

Auldmuiramoir,  59 

—  an  .Donnaidh,  6 

Auldualeckach,  21 

—  an  Fhraoich,  6,  41 

Auley,  38 

—  an  Loin,  6 

Aultan.fearn,  73 

—  a'  Phuill,  51 

Ault.bea,  236 

—  Bean  an  Droidich,  7 

Aultchon.ier,    167 

Baile  Chaluim,  6 

Ault.dearg,  167 

Baile.charn,  24 

Ault.gowrie,  106 

Baile    .Meadhonach,  6 

Ault.granda,  78 

—  na  h-atha,  47 

Ault.guish,  165 

—  na  Creige,  154 

Aultna.sow,  189 

—  nam    .Foitheachan, 

Ault.vaich,  107 

25,  274 

.Avernish,  188 

—  nam  .Fuaran,  23,  41 

.Averon,  83,  1. 

—  nan  .Seobhag,  278 

.Avic,  264 

—  .Nodha,  144 

.Avoch,  132 

—  na  Toin,  59 

Avon  .Chalascaig,  254 

Baile.sios,  221 

Bail'  .Uachdarach,   7 

Bac  an  .Airigh,  152 

—  iia  Coite,  9 

Bac  an  Aorigh,  243 

Bakerhill,  94 

Bac  an  Leith-Choin,  228 

Bakki,  264 

Bac  nan  .Cisteachan,  217 

Bala.chladich,  46,  88,  118 

.Bacavat,  262,  272 

Bal.aldie,  47 

Back,  264 

Balan.lochan,  73 

Bada.chonachar,  66 

Balan.rishallich,  72 

Bada.chro,  223 

Bala.vil,  119 

Bada.crain,  250 

Bala.vullich,  109 

Bad  a'  Chreamha,  194 

Bal.blair,  27,  43,  121 

Badaidh  nan  Ramh,  223 

.Balconie,  87,  xxv. 

Bad  a'  Mhanaich,  160 

Bal.  cherry,   33 

Badan.daraich,  20 

Bal.doon,  73 

Badan.tional,  223 

Bal.four,  65 

Badan.luchie,  160 
Badan  Binn-eoin,  29 

Bal.galkin,  117 
Bal.goil,  116 

Badan  .Vugie,  209 
Bada.voon,  4 
Bad.bea,  245,  71,  208,  245 
Baddamhroy,  94 

Balgun.eirie,  144 
Balgun.loune,  145 
.Balgy,  209 
Bal.iachrach,   118 
Balin.drum,  43 

•  Baddans,  83 
•  Badebay,  64 

Balin.tore,  41,  143 
Balin.traid,  65 

Baden,  erb,   118 
Baden.scallie,  258 

Bal.keith,  34,   xlviii. 
Bal.kil,  34 

Baden.tarbet,  259 
Bad.fearn,  236 
Bad.grianan,  122 

Wester  Ballano,  123 
Balla.chraggan,  60,  76 
Balla.voulin,  78 

Badi.caul,  187 
Bad.luachrach,   245 
Badna.guin,  61 

Bal.leigh,  26 
Balli.  cherry,  1ZZ 
Ballin.dalloch,  107 

Bad  .Ormaidh,  238 

Ballin.roich,  43 

Bad  Rabhain,   244 

Ballinsirach,  49 

Bad.  rain,  116 
Bad.rallach,  248 

Balli.skilly,  12^ 
Ballna.morich,  50 

Bal.loau,  48,  81, 118 
Bal.lone,  133,  215 
Balma.carra,  185 
Bal.mainach,  81 
Bal.menach,  118 
Bal.moral,  41 
Bal.muchy,  41,  275 
Bal.mungie,  129 
Balna.been,  117 
Balna.bruach,  46,   52 
Balna.curach,  9 
Balna.cra,  196 
Balna.crae,  92 
Balna.craig,  73,  76 
Balna.gall,   36 
Balna.gore,   42 
Balna.gown,  63,  108 
Balna.grotchen,  81 
Balna.guie,  137 
Balna.guisich,  71 
Balna.hiush,  21 
Bal.nain,  5,   105 
Balna.kyle,  137 
Bahia. paling,  52 
Bal.nard,  78 
Balna.touch,  38 
Bal.nault,  154,  110 
Bal.nuig,  47 
Bal.reillan,  118 
Bal.uachrach,   118 
Bal.vack,  65 
Bal.vaird,  119 
Bal.vatie,  108 
Bal.vraid,  110,  xxv. 
.Banans,  126 
.Banchory,  152 
.Bangor,  152 
Barbara.ville,  65 
.Barutown,  144 
Bard,  8,  80,  81,  83 

—  ail  Asairidh,  9 

—  .Gobhlach,  122 

—  Loisgte,  123 

—  Mhoire,   44 

—  naii  Laogh,  81 
Bayble,  270 
.Bayfield,  53,  140 
.Bealach,  214 

Bealach  an  t-Suidhe,  214 

—  Bheithinnidh,   234 

—  nan  Corr,  105 

—  .Ratagaiu,  172 

Loch   .Beaunacharan,  152 
.Beannanau  .Beaga,  <i57 
Bearnas       a'       Chlaidh- 
eimh,  60 



Beauly,  40 
.Becamir,  264 
.Beidic,  264 
.Beidicean,  264 
Beinn  a'  Chaisgein,  241 

—  a'  Chaisteil,  102 

—  a'   Chearcaill,   231 

—  a'   .Chlachain,  202 

—  a'  Chlaidheimh,  243 

—  .Ailiginn,  212 

—  a'  Mhi\inidh,  233 

—  an  Eoin,  225,  261 

—  Bhan,  213 

—  Bhric,  224 

—  Clach    an    Fheadain, 


—  Damh,  214 

—  Dearg,  212 

—  .Dronaig,  191 

—  Eighe,  232 

—  .Eildeach,  254 
_  .Eunacleit,  252 

—  .Feusaig,  196 

—  Fhada,  174 

—  .Garaig,   36 

—  .Ghobhlach,  248 

—  Lair,  237 

—  na  h-Eaglaise,  209 

—  nan  .Oighreagan,  30 

—  Ramh,  167 

—  Tarsuinn,   14,    74 

—  Ulamhie,  18 
Beit,  264 
Bekkr,  264 
Bel.dornie,  180 
.Bellfield,  136 
Belma.duthy,  137 
Belton,  138 
Benacus,   152 
Bennetefield,   9,  133 
Ben  .Attow,  174 

—  .Garrick,  35 

—  Hope,  189 

—  .Udlamain,   187 

—  .Wyvis,  102 
.Bendeallt,  79 
.Bcrisay,  266 
.Bernera,  266 
Bennetfield,  11 
Berry.hill,  131 

A'  Bhean-mhuinntir,  45 
A'  .Bhiacaich.  168 
.Blughasary,  '256 
Big  Audle,  53 
Big  Sand,  227 
.Bindal,  46 
Binebreychst,  74 

Binn    Airigh    a'    Charr, 


.Birchfield,  19 
Birkis,  121 

Bishop's  Kin.kell,  115 
Blaad,  198 
Black.dyke,   106 
Black.hill,  53 
Black  Isle,  xxiii. 
Black. stand,  126 
Black.wells.   94 
Blair,  108 
Blair.dow,  144 
Blair.foid,  134,  xlviii. 
Blair.leath,  35,  139 
Blar  a'  Chatb,  43  , 

—  Earach,  48 

—  Liath,  35 

—  nam  .Feadag,  145 
Blarna.bee,  156 
Blarna.coi,   141 
Blarna.levoch,  251 
Blar.ninich,  101 
.Blaven,  224 

Boar  of  Badenoch,   83 

Boath,  80 

.Bodaeh  a'  .Chleirich,  249 

—  an  .Rudha,  45 

—  Beag,  15 

—  Mor,  15 

Bodaich      Dhubh      Binn 

Eighe,  232 

Bodha  a'  Bhuraich,  260 
Am  Bodha  Ruadh,  228 
Bog,  The,  59 
Bogan.durie,  88 
Bog.bain,  36 
Bog.buie,  115 
Bog  na  h-.Eileig,  145 
Bog  of  Shannon,  135 
Boggie.well,  130 
Bog.riabhach,   92 
.Bogrow,  25 
Bo.huntin,  148 
Boisdale,  224 
Boor,  230 
.Boranish,  265 
.Boreray,  265 
Borve,  265 
.Bosta,  264 
Botagan,  215 
Both  Bhig,  80 
Both  Mhor,  80 
.Bottacks,  101 
Bottle  Island,  260 
.Braclach,  118 
Brae,  19,  122,  230 

Braeau.tra,  73,  185 
Brae.langwell,  9,   122 
Brae. more,  252 
Brae.vil,  138 
Braes  of  .Ullapool,  254 
.Brahan,  104,  xxv. 
Braigh  .Thoiriosdal,  224 

—  Thollaidh,  73 
Brakach,  74 
Bran  (River),  165 
.Braonan,  84,  241 
.Brataig,  272 
.Bratanish,  270 
.Breabag,  183 
.Breacleit,    269 
.Breac'  radh,  73 
.Breasclete,  269 
.Brecklach,  198 
.Breidhnis,  269 
.Breivat,  272 
.Breivig,  272 
.Brenachis,  59 
Brin,  105,  241 
Broom.hill,  65,  109,  130 
.Broomtown,  50 
.Bruachaig,  232 
.Bruadale,  265 
•Brucefield,  45 
Bruich. glass,   123 
•Bruthach     na     Cliubha 


—  na  .Gearrachoille  247 
Brynletter,  22 
.Buadhchaig,  198 
Buailna.luib,   236 

Bun  an  Fhuarain,  5 
Bun.chairn,  144 
Bunda.lloch,  180 
Burn.side,  123 
.Burntown,  144 
.Burracks,  66 
.Busbheinn,  224 
Buttis,  39 

Ca.baan,  107 
.Cabar,    161 
.Cabar  Pnais,  90 
Cabharstaigh,   271 
.Cabhsair  an  Righ,  48 
.Cabhsair  Fliuch,  82 
.Cabhsair  Mor,  48 
.Cabrach,  61 
Ca.buie,    169 
.Cachaileath  Dearg,  226 
.Cadboll,  40,   89 

—  Mount,  40 
Ca.dearg,   9 



Cadh'  a'  Bhaillidh,  168 

—  a'  Bhreacaich,  52 

—  an  Ruigh,  57 

—  an  t-.Sagairt,  58 
Cadha  a'  .Bhodaich,  57 

—  cuiLlosaidh,  57 

—  .Dhubhthaich,  176 

—  .Fionntain,  277 

—  Pliuch,  164 

—  .losal,  29 

—  na  .Biacaich,  168 

—  na  Faoilinn,  204 
-  na  Mine,  217 

—  nan   .Caorach,  57 

—  nan  Damh,  24 

—  nan  .Sgadan,  216 

—  nan   .Suibhean,  57 

—  .Neachdiiin,  56,  57 

—  Port  an  Druidh,  57 

—  .Sgriodaidh,  57 

—  Togail  toin,  57 
.Caidhean,  153 
.Cailleach,  45,  249,  252 
.Cailleach   Head,   249 
Cairidh    Cinn  -  chardain 


Cairmie  na  Marrow,  60 
.Caiseachan.  160 
Oaisteal  Cml-bhaicidh,117 
Caisteil  «a  Cloinne,  2  :} 
.Calabost,  265 
.Calaseaig,  254 
Calatruim,  68 
.Callanish,  269 
.Calldarais,  208 
Callechumetulle,  47 
.Callernish,  269 
Calna.kil,  206 
.Calrossie,   58 
.Camalt,  195 
Camas  a'  Charr,  237 

—  a'  .Chlarsair,  209 
.Camasaidh,  224 
Camas     a'     .Ivlhaoraich, 

an  .Eilein,  207 

—  an  Fhiodh,  244 

—  an  Leum,  208 
Camas  .coille,  261 

—  Drol,  209 
.Camasie,  159 
Camas  .longart,  181 

—  na  .Faochaige,  261 

—  na  .gaul,  245 

—  na  h-Eirbhe,  224 

—  nam  Ploc,  222 

—  nan   .Doriiag,    236 

Camas  nan  Gall,  173 

—  Ruadh,  208 

nan   .Sanndag,   227 

—  nan   .Ruadhag,  249 

—  .Raintich,  222 
Cambus.currie,   25,    33 
.Caochan  .Fearna,  223 
Gaol  .Arcach,  Ixxiii. 

—  Beag,  227 
.Campaichean,  217 
Camper,  down,  123 
Camray,  49 
Camus,  donn,  194 
Camus. teel,  204 
Camus. terach,  203 
Camus.linnie,  181 
Camus.trolvaig,  ^>28 
Can.ary,  38 
Can.reayan,  111 
Caolas  a'  Mhuill.ghairbh 

-Capadal,  265 

•  Capernich,  123 
•Caplich,  71,  86,  109 
•Carbisdale,  20 
.Carishader,  270 

•  Carloway,  272 
Carr,  179 

Carn  a'  .Bhiorain,  247 

—  a'  .Bhreabadair,  246 

•  Carnach,  248 
Carna.classar,    108 
Carn  a'  Choin  Dheirg,  15 

—  a'  Choiridh,  243 
Carnau     Cruithneachd 

182,  xlv. 
Cam  an  .lomair,  195 

—  an  Liath.bhaid,  12 

—  an  t'-Suidha,  217 
Carnasgeir,  249 

Carn.averon,  83 
Cam  Beag,  237 

—  Bhren,  11 

—  Breac,  197 

—  Chaoruinn,  159 

—  .Cuinneag,  74 

—  Deas,  260 

—  .Deasgan,  4 

—  Dubh,  29,  180 

—  .eite,182 

-  .Ghluasaid,  174 

—  Glas,  139 

—  Gorm-loch,  165 

—  lar,  260 

—  lurnain,  142 

—  Main,  74. 

—  Mathaidh,  26 

Carn  Mhartuinn,  159 

—  na  Beiste,  243 

—  na  Breabaig,  183 

—  na  Buaile,  153 

—  na  Cloiche  Moire,  154 

—  na  Cre,  164 

—  na  Feith  .rabhain,  160 

—  na  Fir  Freig,  249 

—  na  .Fuaralaich,  174 

—  na  h-Annaid,   155 

—  nan  Aighean,    102 

—  nan  Dobhran,  191 
.Carnoch,   153 

—  .Sgolbaidh,  153 

—  Sonraichte,  83 

—  .Speireig,  14 
Carn.totaig,  68 
Carn  Uilleim,  156 

—  .Salach,  12 
Carr,  179 
Carr  Mor,  237 
Carrie. blair,  25 
Carron,  1,  192,  xxxi. 
Carse  of  Bayfield,  53 
Car.tomie,  27 

•  Casaig,  208 

Castle  Campbell,  182 
Castle  .Corbet,  46 

-  Craig,  52,  122 

—  Gloom,  182 

—  Grant,  68 

—  Hill,  67 

—  Hill  of  Cromarty,  126 

—  Leod,  98 

Castle  of  .Avoch,  xviii 

~    —   •  Cromarty,  xviii., 

—    .Dingwall,  xviii. 

—  —   Elian,  donan,  180, 


—  —   Strome,  xix. 

•  Castleton,  132 
.Cathair  a'  Phuirt.  227 

—  Bhan,  247 

—  Bheag,  225 

—  -Chruchoille,  232 

-  Ruadh,  229 
Uathar  Dubh,  29,  123 

C-eann  an  .Achaidh,  139 

—  .Locha,  208 

—  an  oba,  188 

—  .Uachdarach,  83 
Ceanna.chruinn,  255 

Ceapaich,  144 
A'  Chailleach,  45,  243 




A'  Chathair  Dhubh,  222, 


Chanderaig,  74 
.Chanonry,  12d 
.Chapelton,  122,  124 
.Chapeltown,  110,  144 
Chaplainry  of  St  Reeule, 

127     ' 

.Charleston,  139 
-Charleetown,  225 
A'  Chathair  Bhan,  247 
A'  Chathair  Dhubh,  246 
A'  Chipeanoch,  227 
A'  Chraileag,  174 

•  Chulash,  29 

Cill  .Chaointeort,  172 
Cill  .Fhearchair,  175 
Cillean  .Helpak,  49 
Cinn  Liath,  197 
Claeh    Airigh    a'    Mhin- 
istir,  84 

—  a'  Mh&rlich,  69 

—  an  .Fheadain,  29 

—  an  .Tiompain,  99 

—  .Bhenneit,  133 

—  Ceann-.a-Mheoir,  278 

—  .Charaidh,  56 

—  .Cheannli,  248 

—  Goil,  277 

—  Meadhon  .Latha,  33 

—  na  .bogairie,  25 

—  na  .Comhalach,  258 

—  na  h-Annaid,  155 

—  nam  Ban,  278 

—  nan  Con  Fionn,  199 

—  Ruaraidh    Mhoir   'ic 

Caoigean,  202 

—  Seipeil  Odhair,  276 

—  .Sgoilte,  165 

—  toll,  106 
Clach.uil,  106 
.Clachan  .Biorach,  88 

-  Dhu,  106 

—  Dubhthaich,    179 

—  Loch  Bhraoin,  241 
Cladh  a'  Bhord  Bhuidhe, 


—  a'  Chlachain,   192 

—  Ceann  Loch  .Beann- 

acharan,  156 

—  Chill  Donnain,  248 

—  .Churadain,   78 

—  Eilein  Mhartainn,  255 

—  Ma-Bhrl,  86 

—  M&nn,  156 

—  Inbhir-shannda,  238 

—  na  h-Annait,  155,  249 

Cladh  nan.Druineacb,  200 

—  Phorainn,  156 

—  Phris,  244 

Clais  a'  Bhaid  Choille,  5 
Clais.darran,  111 
Clais.dhu,  66 
Clais  Druim  Bhathaich,83 
Clais  na  .Comraich,  32 

—  nam  Mial,  81 
.Claona,  233 
.Claonaboth,  179 
Claran,  144 
Clare,  89 
Clashna.buiac,  77 
Clasin.ore,  50 
Clasna.muiach,   41 
Clay.pots,  131 
.Cleibisgeir,  271 
.Cleitshat,  267 
Clerk  Island,  39 
Cliff,  240 

Cliff  House,  240 

.Clisgro,   268 

Clootie  Well,  60 

Clyne,  91 

Cnaigean  na  Leathrach, 

Cuoc  a'  Bhoth,   80 

—  a'  Bhreacaich,  95 

—  .Alasdair,  80 

—  a'    .Mhargadaidh,  91 

—  a'  .Mhinistir,  152 

—  a'  Mhoid,  62 

—  an  .Araid,  119 

—  an  .Eireach,  145 

—  an  .Liathbhaid,  29 
Cnocan  .Mealbhain,  35 
Cnoc  an  oir,  107 

—  an   Ruigh  Ruaidh,  29 

—  an  Sgath,  222 

—  an  Teampuill,  88 

—  an  t-Sabhail,  23 

—  an  t-Seilich,  73 

—  an  t-Sithean,  73,  159 

—  an    .Tuairneil,    180 

—  an  .Tubaist,  16 

—  Bad  a'  Bhacaidh,  29 

—  .Bealaidh,  46 

-  Ceislein,  83,  279 

—  Chlachain,  30 

—  Chois,  119 

—  Chroisg,  80 

—  .Chuireadair,  82 

—  Coille  .Bhrianain,  79, 


—  Coille    na    .Tobarach, 

51,  54 

Cnoc  .Coinnich,  51 

—  Druima.langnidh,    48 

—  Dubh,  48 

—  .Duchary,    83 

—  .Ghaisgeach,  52 

—  Gille-.churdaidh,  130 

—  Lady,  23 

—  .lea,  81 

-  Leith  Bhaid,  79 

—  na    Croiche,   62,    193, 

254,  257 

—  nan  .Carrachan,  155, 


—  na  .Fanaig,  119 

—  ua  h-athan,  197 

—  na  h-Iolaire,  164 

—  na  h-uige,  155 

—  nan  Aingeal,  35,  189, 


—  nan  .Culaidhean,  236 

—  nan  .Lcacachun,    81 

—  nam  Mult,  195 

-  na  Struidh,  28 

—  na  .Tuppat,  12 
Cnoc.navie,  71,  liii. 
Cnoc  Ruigh  Griag,  4 

—  Still,  67 

—  Thorcaill,  30 

—  udaia,  111. 

—  .Vabin,  89 
Coag,  61 
Coast,  230 
Cobhan,   224 
.Cobhasgeir,  271 
Cocked  Hat  Wood,  119 
Cocklikinich,   50 
.Coigach,  257 
.Coileachan,  168 
Coille  .Eagascaig,   235 
Coille-gillie,  203 
Coille-righ,  181 
Coillen,  49 
Coilly.more,  70 

Na  .Coineasan,  242 
Coir'  a'  Chonachair,  17 
Coir'  an  t-Seilich,  16 

—  a'  .Ghrianain,  165 
Coire  Attadale,  205 

—  an  Fhamhair,  213 

—  Bhanaidh,  200 

—  Bheag,  167 

—  Bog,  11 

—  Ceud  Chnoc,  215,  216 

—  .Dhomhain,  176 

—  .Dhuinnid,  179 

—  Feoil,  110 

—  .Fionnarach,  199 



Coire  .Ghoibhnidh,  72 

—  Lair,  196 

—  .Mhaileagan,  7,  175 

-  Mhic  Cromuill,  211 

-  Mhic  Nobuill,  211 

-  Mor,  15,  167 

—  nam  Meagh,  8 

—  na  Sorna,  190 

—  nan  .Aradh,  214 

—  nan  Laogh,  165 

—  Riabhach,  167 

—  Rol,  209 

-  Liridh,  199 

—  .Sgamadail,  204 

—  .Thollaidh,  73 

-  na  Feola,  213 

—  na  Poite,  213 

—  nam  Mang,  167 

—  nan  Each,  213 

Cois  Mhic'  ille  Riabhaich, 

Cois    na     .Pollacharach, 


Cold.home,  135 
Cold.wells,  139 
.Colington,  144 
Colly,  Cowie,  103 
Colony,  126 
.Comar,  149 
.Commonty,   38 
.Comrie,  149 
Comunn    nan     Caochan, 


.Conachreig,  91,  76 
.Conaglen,  91 
.Conaghleann,  91 
.Conchra,  91,  186 
Condate,  147 
.Coneas,  91, 199,  242 
-Conglass,  91 
Connel  Ferry,  185 
.Conon,  149,  xviii. 
Conon.brae,  117 
.Contullich,  76,  91 
.Contin,  91,  147 
.Conval,  91 
.Coppachy,  234 
Cor.  grain,  145 
Corn.hill,  9,  106 
.Cornton,  117 
.Corrachie,    133 
An  .Corran,  208 
Corran,  82 

—  a'  Bhaid.railleach,  248 
.Corran  Chill  .Donnain, 

Correbruoch,  74 

Corrie.haUie,  110 
Corrie.muillie,  16,  164 
Corrie.vachie,  90 
Corrie.wick,  157 
Corrina.gale,  115 
Cony,  254 
Corry.hallie,  246 
Corry.halloch,  252,  257 
.Corslet,  130 
.Corvest,  9 
Cos  Dubh  Bean  a'  Ghrann- 

daich,  217 
.Cottcrton,  137 
Coul,  148,  xxv. 
.Coulags,  195 
Coul.hill,  76 
.Coulin,  196 
Coul. more,  144 
Coulna.craig,  258 
Coulna.gour,  13, 119, 134 
Courthill,   193 
Cove,  229 
.Coylum,  7 
.Cracabhal,  267 
.Craggan,  29,  50 
.Craiceach,  207 
Craig,  185,  220 
Craig.breck,  139 
Craig,  darroch,  153 
.Craigeam,  268,  140 
Craigpol.skavane,  22 
Craig. roy,  27 
Craigs,  10 
.Crannich,  72,  156 
An  Crasg,  226 
Crask  of  .Findon,  118 
Craskag,  68 

An  .Creachal  Beag,  183 
.Creachann  nan  .Sgadan, 

Creag  a'  Bhainne,  110 

—  a'  Bhoth,  80 

—  a'  .Chaisil,  181 

—  a'  Chait,  20,  61 

—  a'  .Chaoruinn,  163 

—  a'  Choinneachan,  30 

—  a'  .Ohriabaill,  179 
-  a'  Mhaim,  174 

—  an  Dath,  218 

—  an  .Fhithich,  101 

—  nan    .Culaidhean,  225 

—  Bean  an  Tigh,  229 

—  .Challdris,  208 

—  .Chlachach,  165 

—  Ch6mhaidh,  230 

—  Eabhain,  16 

Creag  .Ghiuthsachan,  242 

-  .Harail,  54 

—  Illie,  14 

—  lucharaidh,  153 

—  Loisgte,  15 

—  .Luathann,  221 

-  Mhaol,  48 

—  .Mholach,  165 

—  Mhor  na  Coigicb,  258 

—  na  .Baintighearna,  40 

—  na  Ceapaich,  12,  248 

—  na  Cille,  79 

—  na  .Corcurach,  247 

—  na  h-Uamha,  206 

-  nam  Bord,  242 

—  nam    .Botag,    218 

—  nan  .Caolan,  212 

—  nan  .Garraig,  191 

—  .Rainich,  165 

—  .Raoiridh,  12 

—  .Raonailt,  216 

—  Ruadh,  14 

—  Ruigh  .Mhorgain,  220 
Creagaidh-thom,  138 
Creagan  na    .Michomh- 

airle,  222 
Creagan  nan  Cudaigean, 

.Criadhach  .Alain  Mhoir, 


.Criathrach  Buidhe,  218 
Creed,  264 

Creit  a'  .Chlobha,  140 
Creitmantae,  47 
Creitnacloyithegeill,    47 
Cro  of  Kintail,  176 
.Crochair,  117 
Crof tan. drum,  94 
Croft.crunie,  143 
Croftmatak,  38 
Croftna.creich,    140 
Croft.nallan,  109 
Crof  town,  252 
Croic  Bheinn,  213 
Croick,  10 
Crois  Cat.rion,  33 
Croit  .Bhreunan,   51 

—  na  .Caillich,  5 
.Cromalt,  159 
.Cromarty,  124,  xxiii. 

—  Firth,   125 
.Cromasag,  231 
.Crombie,  125 
.Cromlet,  50,  70 
Crom  Loch,  14 
.Crosan,  201 
.Crossbost,  265 



Cross.hill,  135 
Cross.hills,  71 
Crostna.hauin,  115 
Crownarecroft,  146 
Grot  Ganich,  50 

—  Kerk,  50 

—  Oich,  50 
.Crowlin  Islands,  216 
.Crua'ruigh,  205 
.Cruinn-leum,  205 
Cruit  Earach,  48 
.Crumby,  264 
Cuaig,  206 

Cuan  Sgith,  Ixxiii. 

—  .Uidhist,   Ixxiii. 
Cuidha.seadar,  270 
Cuil  a'  Bhodha,  255 
CM1  na  .Bioraich,  262 
.Cuilishie,  90 
.Cuillich,  72 
.Gulach,  109 
Cul.bin,  88 
Cul.binn,  53 
.Culbo,  121 
Cul.bokie,  116,  xxviii. 
Cul.caim,  71,  92 
Cul.chonich,  236 
Cul.craggie,  76 
Cul.duie,  203 
Cul.eave,  9 
Culin.ald,  52 
Culin.ellan,  232 
Culli.cudden,  122,  xxvi 
.Cullish,  50 

Cul.liss,  53 
Cul.muiln,  178 
Culna.ha,  51 
Culna.skiach,  89 
Cul.pleasant,  38 
Cul.rain,  20 
Cul.vokie,  9 
An  Cumhag,  246 
.Curin,  153 
Currourecroft,  146 
.Cuthaill  Bheag.  Ill,  262 
—  Mh6r,  111,  262 
Cuyl.ohir,  184 

Daan,  26,  1. 

.Dabliaca    .Ghruinnearc.., 

P.T  ' 

Dal.breac,  15G 
Dal.crcrnbio,  124 
Dahia.croieh,  155 
i/aina.cloich,  71 
Dal.iiavie,  71,  liii. 
Dal.neich,  72,  86 

Dal.rannioh,  61 
Bail  .Charmaig,   198 
Bail  .Mhartuinn,  198 
Dal-.Bhearnaidh,  6 
Dal-.Ghiuthais,  7 
.Dallas,  27 
Dalna.clerach,  67 
Dal.reoich,  73 
Dal.riada,  xiv.,  xxiv. 
Dal.ziel,  277 
Davach  .Nachtane,  21 
.Davach  of  .Kessock,  136 
.Davidston,  125 
Davoch  .Carbistell,  21 
.Davoch  .Cam,  100 
Davochma.luag,  100 
Davoch. polio,  100 
.Deanich,  8 
Decantae,  xii.,  xxxi. 
Deidmanniscairne,  60 
Dell,  265 
.Delny,  65,  xxv. 
.Diabaig,  212,  220 
.Dibidale,  7,  255 
.Dingwall,  93,  xx. 
.Diollaid  a'  Mhill  Bhric, 


Dirrie.more,  252 
.Diurinish,  188 
Dobhran,  27 
Doch.carty,  100 
Doch.four,  65 
Dochna. clear,  101 
Doir'  a'  .Chlaigitm,  209 

—  an  Eala,  223 

—  .Aonar,  208 
Doire  Damh,  214 
Doire  .Leathann,  73 
Doire  Mhaol.laothaich, 

Doire  nam  Fuaran,  219 

—  .Thao'udail,  195 
Doireachan      nan      Gad, 


.Doirneag,  219 
Don,  1. 

.Dorachan,  66 
Dores,  135 
Doniey,  259 
.Dornie,  180,  259 
.Dornoch,  180 
Dorri.vorchie,  111 
Dorry.gorrie.  164 
Dorus.duan,  177 
Dorus  nam  Ba,  50 
Dos.muckaran,  161 
.Douchary,  255 

.Douglas  Water,  90 
Doune,  19 
Dounie,  5,  27 
.Dourag,  276 
Dovaik,  21 
Downilaem,  22 
.Draoraig,  280 
Dreim,  110 
.Drienach,  256 
Drimin.ault,  66 
.Drobhanis,  270 
Drochaid  Chaolai"    7 
-  Faillidh,  146 

—  .Gharaig,  35 

—  ua  h-Uamhach,  200 

—  Poll       .Druineachaia. 


—  Cnoc    a'    .Chrochaire, 


.Droitham,  110 
•Drollavat,  272 
Druentia,  153 
.Druideig,  173 
Druie,  153 
Druim  na  .Ceardaich.  84 

—  na  Gaoith,  68 

—  na  h-Eige"  266 

—  nan  Damh,  78 

—  nun  Ciiaimi».  174 

Druim,  89 

Drum.vaiche,  21,  83 

Druman.croy,  46 

Druman.darroch,  154 

Druman.guish,  165 

Drumau.riach,  155 

Drum.buidhe,  165 

Drum.cuddcn,    121 

Drum.dil,  51 

Drum.derfit,  17,3 

Drum.dyre,  122 

Drum.gill,  59 

•Drummond,  87 
Drummon. reach,  117; 
Drumna.marg,  143 
Drum,  ore,  144 
Drum.runie,  253 
Druni.smittal,  153 
.Drymen,  87 
.Drynie,  94,  138 
Drynie  Park,  143 
.Duart,  187 
.Duasdale,  256 

An  Dubh  Loch,  255 
Dubglas,  90 
-Dubhag,  252 
.Dubhchlais,  184 
.Duchan,  80 



.Dugaraidh,  119 

Eilean  .Critliinn,  167 

Fasag,  211,  233 

.Duioh,  Loch,  179 

—  .Daraich,  247 

Fasa.grianach,  253 

An  Dim,  61,  226 

—  Druim  Briste,   260 

Feadan  Mor,  233 

The  Dun,  61,  193 

—  .Euord,  267 

..ceadh'  laichean,  260 

Dun  .Alaisgaig,  31,  275 

—  na  Beinne,  194 

Fearn,  30,  40 

Dun  an  Ruigh  Ruaidh, 

—  na  .Cairidh,  273 

.Feannagau-Glasa,   227 


—  nan  Ceap,  243 

Fearn.  beg,  206 

Dunach  Liath,  14 

—  nan  Gall,  171 

Fearn.more,  206 

Dun.  cow,  103 

—  .Shildeig,  208 

Fe.bait,  110 

.Diiuan  Diarmid,  178 

—  .Thoriaidh,  266 

Feddeu.hill,  131 

-  Liath,  14 

—  Tioram,  189,  229 

Fedderat,  96 

Dun  .Bhorranish,  269 

—  Tioram,  228 

Feith  .Rabhain,  237 

-  .Bhuirgh,  265 

Eilid,  244 

—  .Ch  usgein,  241 

—  Canna,  256 

Eiuig,  18 

—  .Chuilisg,   230 

Duii.riachie,  51 

.Eirthire  Dcnn,  236 

.Fendom,  5,  34 

Duu.tuilm,  268 

.Eirasta,  271 

Feodhail,  237 

.Duncanston,  118 

.Eirera,  264,  266 

.Feoriseadar,  267 

Dun.donell,  247 

Ekkjalsbakki,  18 

Ferin.donald,  xxiv. 

Di\n.gobhal,  61 

Ellan.donan,   180 

Ferin.tosh,   114,    xxiv. 

-  na  Lagaidh,  251 

Elviemore,  49 

.Feruewyr,        Fymewer, 

Dun.more,  108 

.Enaclete,  269 


Dun.ruadh,  92 

Enycht,  38 

.Fernaig,  185 

Dun.skaith,  33,  52 

.Eoradale,  265 

.Feshie,  128 

Dun.vornie,  115 

.Eoropie,  264,  266 

Fetter,  angus,  96 

Duma.  muck,  245 

.Erbusaig,  188 

.Fettes,  144 

.Durness,  188 

.Erchite,  135 

.Feur-lochan,  91 

Ergadia     Borealis,     xv., 

Feur  Mor,  14 

.Eacleit,  269 


Fiaclaich,  279 

.Eaglais       .Riabhachain, 

.Erisolt,  268 

.Fiaclachan,  238,  xliv. 


.Erradale,  227 

.Fiddlefield,  109 

.Eagon,  200 

.Errogie,  101 

.Fidegro,  268 

.Earavick,  272 

.Essich,  182 

.Fidigearraidh,  236 

.Earrabhig,  266 

.Etive,  182 

.Fidigeodha,  266 

.Earshader,  266,  270 

.Evan  ton,  92 

.Findglas,  89 

Eas  an  Tairbh,  24 

Ewe,  li. 

.Findon,  116 

Bas  an  .Teampuill,  195 

.Fivig,  268 

Eas  uaii  .Cuinneag,  213 

.Fadoch,  181 

Fionn  Abhauin,  199 

.Easan  na  .Miasaich,  252 

Faillidh,  146 

.Fionnaltan,  197 

Easter  Fearn,  20 

Fain,  247 

Fionn  Bheinn,  170 

-  Kin.kell,  115 

Fain  .Braonach,  105 

Fionn  Loch,   239 

Easter,  tyre,  186 

Faing.more,  206 

Fireach,  163 

.Eathie,   129 

.Fairburn,  105 

First  Coast,  238 

.Edderton,  23 

Fairy.hill,  54 

Fisher  Croft,  50 

—  Farm,  25 

Faithche,  237 

Fisherfield,   242 

Eddirdail,  xxiv. 

.Faithir  an  Roin,  230 

.Fleucherries,  123 

Eddirdover,  142,  xviii. 

Faithir  Beag,  222,  229 

.Flowerburn,  131 

Eigg,  50 

Faithir  Mor,  222,  229 

.Flowerdale,  225 

.Eiginn,  167,  205 

Faithir    .Mungasdale,  245 

—  House,  225 

.Eigintol,  168 

Na  .Faithrichean,  248 

.Flodday,  266 

Eig.bheag,  266 

.Fanaich,  5 

.Fluchlady,  88 

Eig.mhor,  266 

.Fannich  (Loch),  166 

Fodderletter,  96 

Eileag  Bada  .Cliallaidh, 

.Fannyfield,  92 

.Fodderty,  96 


.Faochag,  261 

.Folais,  234 

.Eileanach,  90 

Faoilinn,  204 

.Fordon,  96 

Eilean  na  .Cabhaig,  78 

.Farness,  125 

Foreste  de  Ramiacli,  xxv. 

—  a'  Chaoil,  208 

.Farrlaraidh,  98 

Forestercroft,  146 

-  a3  Ghobhainn,  232 

.Fasadh,  185 

Forsin.ain,  105 



.Forsnavat,  267 

Gascleite,  267 

Glen  .Alladale,  61 

For.teviot,  96 

Gas-sker,  267 

—  Beg,  21,  165 

.Fortrose,  128 

.Gaza,  46 

—  .Calvie,  7 

.Foulis,  86 

Gead  a'  Chois,  230 

—  .Conrie,  152 

.Fowlis,   86 

Gead  Dubh,  230 

—  .Docharty,  239 

Foy  Lodge,  237,  253 

.Geanies,  47 

—  Dubh,  230 

.Foyers,  221 

.Gearraidh    .Phutharol, 

—  .Elchaig,  181 

Fra.watter,  21 


—  .Evaig,  137 

Freuchie,  68 

.Gearrchoille,  4,  274 

—  .Finglas,  90 

.Frithard,  191 

.Geddeston,  135 

—  Glass,  90 

Fri.vater,  12,  21 

.Geelyum  .Melpak,  49 

—  .Grivie,  183 

Fuaid,  213 

a'  Ghairbhe,  232 

Gleii.iak,  107 

Fuaran  an  oir,  28 

Gidhurol,  267 

Glen  .Lyon,  199 

Fuaran     Bean      .Mhuir- 

Gil.christ,  108 

—  Mark,  86 

istean,  60 

Girthcroce,  62,  Ixvi. 

Glen.markie,  86 

Fuaran  Bocl-muice,  278 

.Gisla,  264 

—  Marxie,  163 

Fuaran.  buy,  89 

,Gii\sachan,  242 

Glen.meanie,  153 

-  Dha'  idb,  38 

.Giuthais  .Mosach,   8 

Glen.moir,  21 

—  Seachd-goil,  278 

Giuthas  Mor,  232 

Glen.more,  8 

.Fuar-tholl,  197 

Giuthsach,  66 

Glen.muick,  242 

.Fuartholl  Beag,  168 

Gizzen  Brigs,  37 

Glen  of  Scotsburn,  61,  62 

—  mor,  168 

Glac  Dhubh  a'  Chais,  217 

Glen.shiel,  171 

.Fura  Island,  228 

Glac  na  Senshesen,  223 

Glen.uag,  157 

Furene,  66 

Glack.our,  253 

Glen.udalan,  187 

.Furness,  234 

Glac.  our,  155 

Glen  .Urqu'hart,  ".^6. 

.Fyrish,  77,  277 

.Glagaig,  54 

Globhur,  267 

Glaic  an  .Dubhaig,  139 

Glomach,  181 

Gad.caiscaig,  254 

Glaic  an  Rigli  .Chonan- 

Gloume,  The,  182 

Gaineamhach  Sniiuthaig, 

aich,  249 

Gluich,  24 


—  nan  Cleireach,  79 

.Glumaig,  272 

Gairbhe,  232 

Glaick,  72,  80,  83 

.Ghitan,  255,  281 

.Gairloch,  220 

Glaickar.duich,  139 

Goatfell,  224 

—  Hotel,  226 

Glaicker.duack,  110 

Gob-a-Chtiirn,  167 

.Galanaich,  24 

Glaick.more,  137 

Gob  Hais,  268 

Gallow  Hill,  48,  126,  145 

.Glaischoille,  21 

—  nan  .Uisgeachan,  218 

Gallows  Hill,  117 

.Glasbheimi,  198 

Goirtean  na  h-Airde,  '.93 

.Gamhnaichean,  244 

.Glascarne,  74 

Gooseburn,  132 

.Gamrock,  131 

Glas.carnoch,  165 

Gorlinges,  39 

Gar  nan  Aighean,  7 

.Glascharn,  154 

.Gorstan,  196 

.Garaidh  nam  Broc,  218 

.Glaschoille,  10 

—  of  Garve,  162 

Garbat,  26,  162 

.Glascairn,  117 

Gortan,  89 

.Garbhalt,  7 

.Glas-sgeir,  217 

Got  a'  choire,  48 

.Garbhleitir,  61 

Glass  River,  90 

—  nan  Colman,  4S 

.Garbhan  Cosach,  173 

.Glastullich,  35,  59,  255 

—  nan  Cat,  45 

.Garbhlainn,  197 

Gleann  'a  Ghraig,  273 

Gowrie,  li. 

Gareloch,  220 

—  Choilich,  183 

Gracefield,  135 

.Garguston,  144,  183 

—  Coire    .Chaorachain, 

.Greeba,  Ivii.  Ivix. 

.Garrabost,  264 


Green  Dasses.  218 

.Garraran,  74 

—  .Ghleadharan,  267 

Green.hill,  123 

.Garrick  Burn,  35 

—  Loch  Ach.alla,  254 

Green.leonachs,  118 

.Garty,  64 

—  Lie,  176 

.Greinam,  268 

.Garvan,  252 

—  na  Speireig,  90 

.Griamanais,  269 

.Garvary,  11 

—  na  Sguab,  263 

Grianbhad,  6,  274 

Garve,  161,  162 

—  Shiaghaidh,  182 

.Grimersta,  Zll 

.Garvie  Bay,  261 

—  .Sgathaich,  102 

.Grimshader,  270 

.Gaeaval,  267 

.Gleanna  Garbh,  242 

.Grinnabhal,  267 

.Gascan,  208 

.Gledfield,  4 

.Grinnavat,  272 



.Grosavat,  272 

Inver.alligin,  212 

Grudie,  166,  251 

.Inveran,  235 

Gruids,  166 

Inver.  arity,  107 

.Gruinard,   5 

Inver.  asdale,  229,  Iv. 

Inver.  bane,  208 

.Habost,  265 

Inver.  breakie,  69 

.Haclete,  269 

Inver.  broom  Lodge,  252 

.Haddo,  111 

Inver.carron,  8 

.Hallagro,  268 

Inver.  coran,  153 

.Halloch,  135 

Inver.  gordon,  70 

.Hamarshader,  270 

Inver.iavenie  River,  241 

Hardnaneu,  49 

Inver.  inate,   179 

.Harris,  264 

Inver.lael,  253 

.Hartfield,  111,  204 

Inverlochslin,  38 

.Heathfield,   68 

Inver.many,   153 

.Hebrides,  xxvi. 

Inver.oykell,  18 

.Hestaval,  267 

Inver.polly,  261 

.Highfield,  103 

lochdar-thire,  186 

Hill  of  Nigg,  53 

lolla  Bheag,  258 

.Hillock,  131 

lolla  Mhor,  258 

.Hilton,  9,  27,  41,  46,  108 

Isle  Ma.ree,  239 

Horse  Island,  258 

Isle  Martin,  255 

—  Sound,  253 

Isle  .Risiol,  260 

.Horshader,  270 

.Islivig,  272 

.Hughstown,  108 

Is.teane,  139 

.Humberstou,  94 

.Hundagro,  268 

.Hunisger,  2/1 

James  Temple,  141 

Hunting  Hill,  36 

Jamestown,  105 

Hurdy  Hill,  141 

Jamimaville,  123 

.Janetown,  194 

.Immer,  195 

John  Baptist's  Well,  65 

.Inbhir,  75 

Inch.bae,  102 

Inch.breky,  70 

Kandig,  47,  49 

Inch.  coulter,  279 

.Katewell,  87 

Inch.fuir,  65 

Kean.chilish,  255 

Inchin.a,  244 

.Kenmore,  207 

Inchin.down,  70 

.Keppoch,  101,  179,  248 

Inchin.taury,  24 

.Kernsary,  234 

Inch.lumpie,  73 

Kerry  River,  225 

Inch.nairn,   184 

.Kerrysdale,  225 

Inch.navie,  71 

.Kershader,  270 

Inch.rory,  101 

.Kessock  Ferry,  136 

luch.vannie,  100 

Kil.choan,  91 

Inish.  glass,  234 

Kil.coy,  143 

Inner.athy,  33,  37 

.Kildary,  63 

Innerladour,  49 

Kilder.morie,  79,  84 

Inner.many,  153 

Kil.donan,  248 

Innis  a'  Bhaird,  235 

Kil.dun,  94 

—  a'  Chro,  176 

Kill.earnan,  142 

—  Bheag,  48 

Kill.en,  134 

—  Loicheil,  190 

Killie.huntly,  148 

—  Mhor,  36 

Kill.ilan,  181 

—  nan  Damh,  19,  94 

Insch,  154 

Killochir,  184 

Inver,  38,  75 

Kilma.chalmag,  19 

Inver.aithie,  129 

Kil.martin,  120 

Kil.muir,  136 

—  Easter,  63 
Kilpottis,  47,  49 
Kilstane,  47 
Kil.tarlity,  58 
Kil.tearn,  85 
Kin.beachie,  121 
Kincaldrum,  100 
Kin.caple,  86 
Kin.cardine,  1 
Kin.cora,  115 
Kin.craig,  70 
Kin.curdy,  130 
Kin.deace,  53,  66 
Kin.ellan,  99 
King's  Bridge,  63 

—  Causeway,  36 
Kin.kell,  115 
Kin.loch,  80,  90 
Kinn.airdie,  94,  xxv. 
Kinna.moin,  189 
Kinn.eil,  xliv. 
Kiii.nettes,  97,  111 
Kin.rive,  67,  178 

Kiu  .tail,  178 
Kin.veachy,  121 
.Kiriwick,  272 
.Kirkan,  165 
Kirkchaistull,  74 
Kirkin.tilloch,  xlix, 
Kirk.michael,  121 
Kirk,  sheaf,  35 
.Kirkton,  122,  189 
.Kishorn,  192 
Knockan.dialtaig,  118 
Knockan.toul,  89 
Knockan.cuirn,  89 
Knock.bain,  94,  138 
Knock. breac,  35 
Knock.farrel,   98 
Knock. muir,  134 
Knockna.cean,  ?5 
Knockna.har,   42 
Knokangirrach,  47 
Knokdaill,  21 
Knokderruthoill,  74 
Knoknapark,  64 
Knoknasteraa,  74 
Kyle  of  Loch.alsh,  187 

Lag  an  Duin,  193 
.Lagaidh  Dhubh,  212 
.Lagan  na  .Comraich,  203 
Laid,  238 
Laikgarny,  22 
Lainn,  78 
.Lainnsear,  139 



.Laimishader,  270 
An  Lair,  233 
Lair,  196,  212 
Lairg,  36 
Lambton,  126 
Lamentation  Hill,  20 
.Langadale,  266 
.Langavat,  272 
.Langwell,  9, 18,  204,  256 
Larachanti.vore,  242 
.Lathamur,  268 
.Laxavat,  272 
.Laxay,  264 
.Laxdale,  265 
Leaba  Bhatair,  12 
Leab'  a'  Bhruic,  14 
Leac  an  Duine,  27 
Leac  Dhonn,  249 

—  Mhor  na  Cle,  254 

—  nan  Saighead,  224 
-  .Roithridh,  226 
.Leacachan,  172 
.Lealty,  82 
.Leanaidh,  159 
.Leanaig,  117 
.Leanach,  161 
.Learnie,  129 
Leat.caum,  50 
.Leathad  a'  .Bhogaraidh, 


—  .Cartach,  102 
.Leathad  a'  Chruthaich, 


—  .Chalascaig,  254 

—  an  aon  Bhothain,  219 

—  .Leacachain,  252 

—  -Riabhach,  79 
•Leault,  82 
-Lechanich,  29 
Leck.melm,  254 
Led.gowan,  161 
Leinster  Wood,  61 
•Leiravay,  272 
•Leisgeig,  56 

Leith  Chreig,  230 
Leithdach  Meinn,  154 
.Lernock,  129 
-Leth  Allt,  179 
Letteray,  22 
Letter.fearn,  172 
Letternaiche,  22 
Lietterneteane,  22 
Letters,  10,  251 
-Lettoch,  111,  145 
Leum  .Ruaraidh,  167 
-Leurbost,  265 
Lewis,  263 
-Liathach,  210 

.Lienassie,  90,  178 
Lime.kilns,  135 
.Lingam,  268 
.Lingavat,  27 
.Linish,  269 
Linne  na  h-Annaid,  249 

—  Rarsach,  Ixxiii. 

—  Sgainne,  2 

—  Sgitheanach,  Ixxiii. 
.Linnie,  145 
.Linshader,  270 

Lint  Pools,  64 
Little  .Daan,  26 

—  .Dallas,  27 

—  Loch  Broom,  245 

—  Minch,  Ixxiii. 
Little  Sand,  227 

'  Loan.dhu,  42 
|  Loan.reoch,  72 
I  Loan.roidge,  81 

Loanteanaquhatt,  48 

Loch  Ach.all,  254 

—  .Achilty,  163 

—  Airigh  'ic  Gnadh,  226 

—  .Ala,  133 

—  Alsh,  184 

—  Anna, 

—  a'  .Bhadaidh  .Shamh- 

raidh,  230 

—  a'  .Bharranaich,  197 

—  a'  .Bhealaich,  176 

—  a'  Bhraghad,  242 

—  a'  .Chapuill,  78 

—  a'  Chlarain,  163 

—  a'  Chraicich,  207 

—  a'  Chroisg,  256 

—  a'  Chuilinn,  150 

—  a'  .Gharbharain,  169 

—  a'  Mhagraidh,  79 

—  a'  .Mhuilinn,  154,  204 

—  an  .Airceil,  247 

—  an  .Arbhair,   262 

—  an  Droma,  163 

—  an  Eich  Bhain,  163 

—  an  Eilich,  244 

—  an  Loin,  214 

—  an  Turaraich,  215 
Loch  Bad  a'  Bhathaich,  84 

a'  Ghaill,  261 

na  h-Achlaise,  223 

na  Sgalag,  225 

—  Battachan,  261 

—  Bealach  nan  Cuilean, 


—  .Beannacharan,   152 

—  Bhura,  230 

—  Broom,  241 

—  Buidhe,  61 

Loch  Call  nan  Uidhean, 

—  Calvie,  190 

—  Carron,  192 

—  Carron  Village,  194 

—  a'   .Chlaiginn,  257 

—  Glair,  197,  223 

—  Clais  na  Cre,  47 

—  Cluaine,  176 

—  .Coireag  nam  Mang, 


—  Coire  .Feuchain,  91 

—  Coire      Fionnaraich, 


—  Coire  Lair,  169 

—  Coir'  na  Meidhe,  17 

—  .Coulin,  196 

—  .Coultrie,  214 

—  Craiceach,  207 

—  Cran,  161 

—  .Cruoshie,  191 

—  Damh,  214 

—  Doire   na   h-Eirbhe, 

239,  262 

—  Dring,  228 

—  .Droma,  169 

—  .Dughall,  196,  215 

—  Eadar  da  Bheinn,  257 

—  .Eiginn,  246 

—  Eye,  42 

—  .Fannich,  166 

—  Feadhal  Feas,  239 
'  —  Fyne,  xii. 

—  .Gaorsaig,  182 

—  Garve,   162 

—  Ghiuragartaidh,  235 

—  a'  .Ghlobhuir,  267 

—  Glass,  90 

—  .Gobach,  214 

—  .Gobhlach,  91 

—  .Hamasord,  26? 

—  .Kanaird,  256 

—  Laichley,  135 

—  Lapagial,  35 

—  Ligh,  135,  168 

—  Long,  183 

—  Loyne,  177 

—  .Luichart,  164 

—  .Lundie,  213 

—  .Lungard,  182 

—  .Lurgainn,  257 

—  Maoil    na    h-.Eileig, 


—  Ma.ree,  239 
-  .Meiklie,  157 

—  .Mheathacleit,  219 

—  Mhic  .Mharsaill,  19 

—  .Mhileavat,  272 



Loch  .Mhiosaraidh,  91 
—  Moir,  84 

—  .Monar,  190 

—  na  .Cabhaig,  218 

—  ua  .Cathrach  Duibhe, 


—  na  Cleire,  244 

—  na  .Coireig,  248 

—  na  Croic,  163 

—  na  .Pideil,  239 

—  ua  h-Airbhe,  250 

—  i;a  h-Oidhche,  214,  225 

—  na  h-Uidhe,  42,  248 

—  na  .Lagaidh,  247 

—  na  Larach  Blaire,  154 

—  na  .Leitreach,  181 

—  na    .Maola    .Fraoch- 

aich,  214 

—  >aSaile,  261 

—  na  Sealg,  2<f5 

—  na  .Shanish,  223 

—  na  Still,  169 

—  nam    Breac    Athair, 


—  nam  Buaineachan,  225 

—  nam  .Frianach,  215 

—  nan  Amhaichean,  91 

—  nan  Corr,  178 

—  nan  .Cuigeal,  46 

—  nan,  235 

—  nan  .Druidean,  91 

—  nan  Eun,  22 

—  nan  .Tunnag,  26 

—  Neimhe,  210 

—  .Osgaig,  261 

-  .Prille,  169 

-  Raa,  261 

-  .Ranacleit,  269 

-  .Seraig,  194 

—  Rosque,  160 

—  .Seaforth,  267 

—  .Sgamhaiu,   196 

-  .Sgolbaidh,  154 

—  .Sguata  Beag,  223 

—  -Sheriff,  118 

—  .Sianascaig,  261 

—  .Slin,  42 

-  Still,  67 

—  .Struaban,  15 

-  -Thamnabhaigh,  272 

—  .Thealasbhaigh,  272 

—  .Totaig,  261 

-  Tuath,  170 

—  Uaill,  215 

—  .Uanaidh,  35 

—  .Urradhag,  271 

—  .Veyatie,  262 

Lochaidh  Bhraoin,  241 

—  .Mhuireagain,   183 

—  Nid,  243 

Lochan  a'  Chlaidheimh, 

—  an  Diabhaidh,  243 

—  an.  .lasgaich,  197 

—  Giuthais,  242 

—  Gobhlach,  197 
-  .Mealaich,  228 

—  na  Bearta,  242 

—  na  .Caoirilt,  244 

—  na  .Fuaralaich,  174 

—  nan  .Tunnag,  57 

—  Phoil,  18 

—  .Sgeireach,  14 
.Logie,  58,  251 
Logie.side,  119 
Lon.ban,  205 

Lon  Coire  ..Chn\baidb,196 

—  Dialtaig,  5 
Lone.more,  227 
Lone. vine,  65 
Lon  nam  Ban,  60 
Lonteana.quhatt,  48 
Longa  Island,  227 
Lorg.buie,  78 
.Luachar  Mhor,  23 
Ltib  a'  .Chlaiginn,  102 
Lub  a'  .Ghargainn,  144 
Lub  .Coinnich,  10 
Lub.croy,  17 
Lub.fearn,  165 
Lub.riach,  165 

Lugi,  xii. 
Luib,  160 
Lum.lair,  81,  85 
.Lundale,  265 
.Lundie,  158,  189 
.Lundin,  158 

Mac  us  .Mathair,  246 
.Macan  .Earach,  203 
.Machair  Hois,  xi. 
Maileagan,  172 
Main,  153 
Mam,  153 
Mal.ruba,  Ixi. 
Mamag,  183 
Mam  a'  .Ghiuthais,  232 
.Mulcanan,  215 
Mam  .Sabhal,  183 
.Manachainn  Ross,  110 

—  'Ic  .Shimidh,  40 
.Mangarsta,  271 
Maoil,  Ixxiii. 

Maoil  .Choinnl'mae,  159 

—  .Lunndaidh,  158 
Maol  an  Uillt  ivlhoir,  205 
-  Buidhe,  181 

—  .Chalascaig,  254 

—  .Cheanndearg,  174, 197 
.Maravaig,  272 
.Mai-avat,  272 
Marecroft,  146 
.iviarybank,  60 

Mas  Aird.hesleig,  207 

—  .Diabaig,  207 

—  na  h-.Arairi,  207 
Mas  .Phutharol,  265 
Maoil  an  .Tiompain,  247 

—  na  h-Eirbhe,  250 
.Mashie,  128 
.Mas-sgeir,  271 
.Meaghlaicli,  8 
.Mealasbhal,  267 
.Mealasta,  271 
.Mealbhan  .Mungasdail, 


.Meathacleit,   269 
.Meathadal,  269 
.Meathanish,  269 
Meall  na  h-Airde,  194 

—  a'  Bhuirich,  256 

—  a'  .Cnaisteil,  102 

—  a'  .Chaoruinn,  249 

—  a'  .Chrasgaidh,  252 

—  a'  .Chrimeig,  279 

—  a'  .Ghrianain,  102 

—  a'  Ghuail,  bo 

—  uam  .Madadh,  15 

—  an  t-.Sithidh,  246 
—  an  .Torcain,  165 
.Meallan  .Udrigle,  238 
Meall  an  Tuirc,  78,  83, 


—  .Aoghaireachaidh,  213 

—  .Aundrary,  225 

—  .Bheithinnidh,  234 

—  .Bhenneit,  11 

—  .Dheirgidh,  20 

—  .Gainmheach,  205 

—  Gonn,  218 

—  Leacachain,  252 

—  Loch  Uaill,  215 

—  Mnic  .lomhair,  165 

—  na  .Cliubha,  240 

—  na  Cuachaige,  11,  274 

—  nan  .Doireachan,  213 

—  nam  Bo,  79 

—  na  .Mocheirigh,  255 

—  nam  .Fuaran,  15 

—  nam  .Peit/hirean,  168 

—  na  .Rainich,  14 



Meall  na  .Sgriodan,  259 

Mor'oich  Cinn-deis.  53,171 

.Nonach,  189 

—  na  .Siorramachd,  30 

Morrich.more,  36 

North  .Erradale,  227 

—  na  .Speireig,  90,  95 

.Moruisg,  200 

.Nostie,  188 

—  na  .Teanga  .Fiadh- 

.Morvich,  171 

No.var,  77 

aich,  219 

Moss.end,  119 

—  nan  Laogh,  165 

Mount.eagle,  42 

Oape,  19 

—  nan  Sac,  102 

Mount,  gerald,  92 

Ob  an  Duine,  189 

.Meddat,  62,  91 

Ob   Cheann   an  t-Saile, 

Meig,  156 

Moy,  105 


Meikle  .Allan,  43 

.Muckernich,  143 

Ob.gorm  beag,  209 

—  .Daan,  26 

.Muckovie,  83 

—  Laghaich,  217 

—  .Dallas,  27 

Muie.blaire,  28 

—  mor,  209 

—  Ferry,  33 

Muileann  Ach-railein,  53 

Ob  na  h-.acairseid,  208 

—  .Gluich,  24 

—  a'  .Chlagain,  277 

-  na  .Oaillich,  217 

—  Kin.deace,  53 

—  an,  139 

—  na  h-.uamha,  206 

—  Pit.calzean,  51 

.Muileann  .Luathaidh,  38 

—  .mheallaidh,  209 

—  .Bhynie,  41 

Muilt,  222 

.Oban,  188 

—  .Tarrel,  47 

Muir.  alehouse,  133 

Obbe,  188 

Mekle  .Methat,  62 

Muir.ends,  138 

.Obbenin,  237 

.Melbost,  264 

.Muirtown,  115,  126,  138 

.Obsdale,  71,  78 

.Mellon  Charles.   236 

Muiry.den,  131 

.Ochil,  103,  148 

.Melvaig,   227 

Mul.buie,  47 

Ochto.beg,  89 

Meoir  'Langwell,  19 

.Mulcanan,  215 

.Ochtow,  19,  89 

A'  .Mhaighdean,  239 

Mul.chaich,  115 

Oir  na  Poit,  49 

A'  .Mhullagraich,  260 

Mul.dearg,  43 

.Oirthir  an  .Rudha,  220 

.Miagro,  269 

.Mullach,  22 

—  .Dhiabaig,  220 

.Mial,  226 

.Mullach       a'      Chadha 

.Oitir,  53 

.Miasaid,  269,  271 

Bhuidhe,  16 

.Oitrichean,  38 

.Miavaig,  272 

Mulna.fua,  71 

.Onich,  189 

Mickle  Oxgate,  178 

.Multovy,  83,  xlviii. 

.Openham,  222 

Mid  Fearn,  30 

.Mungasdale,  245 

.Orasay,  266 

Mid  Ross,  xi. 

Mun.lochy,  141 

Ord,  69,  110 

Mid.oxgate,  43 

Muren,  138 

.Ordan,  5 

Mill.craig,  71 

Ord.hill,  135,  141 

.Milltoun,  123 

.Naast,  230 

Ore,  R.,  Ill 

.Milltown,  81,123,156 

.NTaidaval,  270 

.Ormiscaig,  236 

.Milntown,  63 

.Nasabhig,  272 

.Orrin  River,  111 

.Milton,  110,  144,  204 

.Navity,  125,  Ixiii. 

Oure  Lady  Heavin,  43 

Minch,  xiv.,  Ixxiii. 

Nead  an  Eoin,  224 

Oure  Lady  Well,  43 

Mincius,  157 

.Neadaclif,  270 

Our  Lady  is  Chapell,  43 

.Miotag,  244 

.Neadavat,  270 

.Oykell,  17,  103 

.Mircavat,  269 

Neclacanalych,  38 

.Mircol,  269 

Nedd,  167 

.Pabay,  266 

Moin'  a'  Chr^athair,  199 

.Neidalt,  268 

.Pabbay,  270 

Mointeach  Eileag,  17 

.Neidelan,  270 

Pairc  .Alanais,  75 

Mol  Mor,  217 

.Neidal,  270 

—  a'  Bhord  Bhuidhe,  248 

Mol  .Scoraig,  249 

.Neilston,  126 

—  an  .Leothaid,  132 

.Molagro,  268 

Neimhidh,  Ixii. 

.Paiteachan,  174 

Moothill  of  Ci-omarty,  126 

Nemetomarus,  Ixiii. 

.Palascaig,  189 

—  .Dingwall,  93 

New  Tarbat,  63 

Parishes,  xxvi. 

—  .Ormond,  133 

New.more,  70,  Ixiii. 

Park,  100 

.Morall,  2 

.Newton,  126,  134 

Park.hill,  62 

.Morangie,  34 

New  Kelso,  198 

.Parktown,  144 

.Morefield,  255 

.Nighean  Liath,  220 

Patt,  189 

.Morel,  2 

Nigg,  50,  66 

.Paulfield,  141 

.Monnhoich   a'   Choire, 

Nigg  Rocks,  56,  71 

.Peallaidh,  88 


Nona.kiln,  70                        l  .Peddieston,  125 

.Peiteachan,  144 
Peitneane,  200 
•Pelaig,  88 
Peloponnesus,  xxiv. 
Pentland  Firth,  xlvi. 
.Peterburn,  227 
Petgerello,  38 
Petkeuney,  87,  xxv. 
.Petley,  4-7 
Petty,  xlvii. 
Pettyslanis,      Petslaw, 

Piddslaw,  131 
.Phenish,  iid9 
.Phips^eld,  59 
Picts,  xlv. 
Pit.almit,  200 
Pit.calnie.  51,  276 
Pit.  conn  oquhy,  131 
Pit.culzean,  51 
Piteng.lassie,  94 
Pit.faed,  46 
Pit.fuir,  65,  135 
Pit.glassie,  94 
Pit.hogarty,  34 
Pit.kerrie,  41 
Pit.lundie,  140 
PUma.duthy,  59 
Pit.nellies,  33 
.Pladaig,  188 
.Pladda,  189 
Plaids,  34 
Platach-Nsist,  230 
Platach  Thiirneig,  235 
Plat.chaig,  129 
.Platcock,  129 
Ploc,  211 

Ploc  an  Doire,  211 
.Plockton,  187 
Plotcok,  123 
.Ploverfield,  145 
.Plubag,  276 
.Plucaird,  235 
Pol.bain,  259 
Pol. glass,  258 
Polin.turk.  23 
.Pollachar  Mor,  238 

—  Beag,  238 

Poll  a'  .Bhathaidh,  62 

—  a'  Bhior,  204 

—  a'  Chapuill,  2 

—  a'  Choire,  112,  256 

—  a'  .Mhucainn,  77,  83 

—  an  Doirbh,  226 

—  an  .Donnaidh,  2 
an-.tarie,  189 

—  an  t^Slugaid,  2 

—  Bhocaidh,  9 

—  Cas.gaibhre,  20 


Poll  .Chreadhaich,  203 

—  .Druineachen,  200 

—  Da.ruigh,  254 

—  na  Clar,  82,  89 

—  na  Guile,  80,  83 

—  na  Muic,  2 

—  nam  iv±orbh,  82 
.Pollag  .Aitionn,  82 
Polla. gharry,  26,  274 
.Polio,  65 

Pollograyscheak,  74 
Poll  Ptuadh,  82 

Poll  Uidhe  H'  Chro,  234 
Pol.nicol,   64 
Poltak,  38 
Pookan.draw,  134 
Pool.ewe,  230 
.Porin,  155 
Port  a'  .Chaisteil,  48 

—  a'  Bhaist,  49 

—  a'  Chait,  45 

—  a'  Chuilinn,  187 

—  an  Ab,  41 

—  an  Druidh,  57 

—  an  Eorna,  187 

—  an.FhaithirMhoir,221 

—  an  t-Saoir,  216 

—  an  t-.Seobhaig,  217 

—  Buckle,  45 

—  .Henderson,  222 

—  'ic    Ghille     Chaluim 

Rarsaidh,  210 

—  na  .Baintighearna,  44 
i  —  Lair,  212 

I    Portin. coulter,  279 

|   Port.lich,  65 
Portma.homack,  46 
Port  na  Cloiche,  49 

—  na  h-Eile,  226 

—  Nach.breacaidh,  276 
Portna.grigack,  49 

—  nan  Am  all,  228 
Portarecroft,  146 
Portnawest,  49 
Port  Uilleim,  46 
Poul.fock,  42 
.Poyntzfield,  123 
Preas,  liii. 

Preas  Ma-.Ruibh,  Ixi. 
Preas  Mor,  232,  247 

—  nam  Bodach,  247 
Preis.chachleif,  59 
Priest.hill,  65 
Priest  Island,  39,  260 

i  .Putharam,  265 
I   .Putharamar,  265 
i  .Putharol,  265 


Quarryfield,  139 
.Queebec,  38 

.Raanich,  23 

.Raddery,  130 

Raitts,  172 

Ra.more,  23 

.Ranish,  269 

.Kannoch,  101 

.Raoideas,  140 

Raoinavat,  272 

Raon  a'  Chlaidh,  248 

Raona.chroisg,  253 

.Raonadail,  265 

Raon  na  .Ceapaich,  248« 

.Rapag,  256 

Ra.richie,  51 

.Rasay,  161 

.Rassel,  216 

,Ratagan,  172 

.Rathan,  210 

.Rathanan,  211,  xxxiu 

Rawcharrache,  74 

.Redburu,  78 

Red. castle,  142,  xviii. 

.Redfield,  136 

Red  Point,  220 

Reiff,  260 

Renmasrycshe,  47 
Re.quill,  26 

.Reraig,  188 
Re.solis,  120 
Re.vochan,  198 
Rewchlascheaabad,  74- 
Rhi.dorroch,   254 
Rhein.down,  107 
Rhi.reavach,  248 
Rhi.cullen,  70 
Rhi.breac,   24 
Rhi.dorach,  53,  61,  89 
Rhi.lonie,  21 
Rhi.roy,  251 
Rhives,  64,  134 
Rhu.roin,  203 
.Rhynie,  41 
Riask.more,  70 
Ri.fleuche,  61 
Righ  an  .Talla  Dheirg, 


iii.gollachy,  234 
Ri.harrald,  59,  60 
Rihindow,  50 
.Rinavie,  xlviii. 
.Riochan,  182 
Ri.saurie,  74 
.Risay,  266 
River  Bran,  165 



River  Creed,  264 

-  Lair,  196 

-  Ling,  183 

—  .Kirkaig,  262 

—  Polly,  261,  49 
.Kockfield,  46 
.Regie,  101,  1. 
.Roineval,  267 

Roinn  an  Fhaing  Mhoir, 


.Roishnish,  269 
.Rona,  266 
Ros  .Muileach,  xx. 
Rose. bank,  70 
Rose. farm,  126 
Rose.haugh,  131 
Rose.markie,  128 
.Rosgil,  269 
Rosie,  161 
.Roekill,  138 
Ross.keen,  69 
Rostabrichty,  123 
.Rosaidh,  266 
.Rosmul,  268 
.Rosnavat,  268 
Bos.neath,  Ixiii. 
.Rosnish,  268 
Ross,  xxi. 
.Rossay,  268 
.Rossol,  268 
Rowna.karne,  47 
Rownaknoksenidis,    47, 


Royeindavoir,  47 
.Ruadh-stac,  197 
.Ruarach,  178 
Rudh'  Ard   a'  .Chadail, 


—  a'  .Chamais  Ruaidh, 


—  an  Dunain,  258 
Rudha  an  t-Sasain,  229, 


—  .Dubhard,  258 

—  na  Coigich,  261 

—  na  Fearna,  206 

—  na  Guaille,  205 

—  na  Moine,  205,  245 

-  na  Sgarbh,  26 

—  nan  .Uamhag,  203 

-  Nois 

-  Reidh,  228 

—  .Robhanish,  270 
Rue. more,  187 
Ruigh  Breac,  27,  191 
Ruigh  Cruaidh,  20 

luigh  .Dreighean,  80 

—  na  Meinn,  5 
luigh.grianach,  262 
Ru.noa,  231 

Russel,  216 
Ryefield,  117,  144 
Rye.flat,  131 

Sail  Liath,  243 

—  .Marcasaidh,  163 

—  na  Beinne  Bige,  218 
St  Duthus'  Well,  127 
St  John's  Port,  49 

St  Martins,  120 
.Salachar,  187,  205 
Sale,  171 
.Sallachy,  8,  187 
,Saitburn,  69 
.Sanachan,  193 
Sand,  205,  238 
.S?.ndavat,  272 
.Sandwick,  270 
.Saothair,  238,  255 
.Sardale,  204 
.Saraig,  172,  220 
Sasan,  229 
.Sauchieburn,  8 
.Scailleir,  271 
.Scalpaidh,  188 
.Scaravat,  272 

.Scardroy,  156 

.Scarista,  271 

.Scatwell,  149 

Scone,  148 

.Scotsburn,  67 

.Seafield,  46,  193 

.Seanachreag,  187.  244 

.Sean-bhaile,  227,  243 

Seann  Bhraigh,  170 

.Seansgeir,  228 

.Searrach,  233 

.Seavat,  272 

Second  Coast,  238 

.Seilibhig,  272 

.Seipeil  .Donnain,  193 

—  .Odhar,  94 
Seolaid,  221 
Sergandcroft,  146 
.Sgaoman,  169 
.Sgaothach,  15 
.Sgarbh-sgeir,  271 
Sgardan  nan  Cuileag,  195 
Sgeir  an  Eoin,  206 

—  an  t-Salainn,  216 

—  an  .Trithinn,  220 

—  Bhura,  230 

—  Mhaoil  Mhoire,  228 

Sgeir     Neo.ghluasadach, 

—  .Ribhinn,  260 
Sgianalt,  268 
Sgiobacleit,  268 
Sgiobadal,  271 
Sgioba-geodha,  271 
Sgiogarsta,  271 

!?gire  Mhartuinn,  120 
Sguataig,  229 
Sgonnan  Mor,  17 
3gor  a'   .Chaoruinn,  79 
Sgoraig,  249 
Sgorr  a'  .Chadail,  211 

-  a'  Chlei',  89 
Sguman,  222 

Sgurr      a'     .Bhealaich 

Dheirg,  174, 
Sgurr  a'  .Chaorachain,  213 

—  a'  .Chaoruinn,  159 

—  a'     Ghlas    .Leathaid, 


—  a'  .Mhuiliun,  160 

—  an  .Airgiod,  178 

—  an  .Lochain,  174 

-  Beag,  174 

nan         .Cisteachan 
Dubh,  173 

—  Coire  na  Feinne,  174 

—  .Gaorsaig,  182 

-  'Ic  .Mharrais,  175 

—  .Marcasaidh,  163 

—  Mor,  168 

—  Ruadh,  197 

nam  .Feartag,  200 

—  na  .Bana-mhorair,  215 

—  na  .Mor'oich,  173 

—  nan  Caruach,  173 

—  nan     .Ceannp.ichean, 


nan        .Cisteachan 

Dubh,  173 

—  nan  .Conbhair,  159 

—  nan  .Saighead,  173 

—  na'  Spainnteach,  173 

—  nan  .Conbhairean,  174 

—  nan  Clach,  168 

—  Ouran,  173 

—  .Ronnaich,  160 

—  Udhran,  173 
Sgurra  .Fiona,  243 

—  Ruadh,  243 
.Shadir,  270 
.Shantullich,  138 
.Shandwick,  50,  62 
Shaw  Park,  135 
.Shawbost,  264 



.Shenavall,  243 

Sron  a'  Charr,  222 

Stron.garve,  89 

.Shetland,  Ix. 

—  a'  Mhais,  207 

Struie,  28 

.Sheshader,  270 

—  an  .larruhm,  206 

Suaineagadail,  265 

.Shiattt  Isles,  Ixiv. 

gorm,  165 

Suainebhal,  267 

.Shildinish,  271 

—  Gun  .Aran,   14 

Suardal,  265 

.Shieldaig,  208,  225 

—  na  .Ceannmhoir,  207 

Suddy,  136,  xliv. 

.Shoais,  270 

—  na  Coite,  9 

Suidh  Ma-.Ruibh,  Ixii. 

Sian  na  h-Eileig,  237 

—  na  .Frianaich,  158 

Sulven,  Ivi. 

.Sildam,  271 

—    nam  Mult,  222 

Suidheachan  Fhinn,  243 

.Sithean  .Ruarach,  16 

—  na  .Saobhaidhe,  11, 

Suil.Ba,  54 

—  a'  Choin  Bhain,  73 


—  Mill  a'  Chro,  235 

Skardy,  38 

—  'n  .ugaidh,  8 

.Sulishader,  270 

.Skiach,  89 

Sruth  na  .Lagaidh,  251 

Sulven,  Ivi. 

.Skibberscross,  Iv. 

Stacsavat,  272 

Summer  Isles,  259 

.Skinnertown,  48 

.Stattic  Point,  245 

Sunny  Brae,  119 

Skotlandijordr,  xiv. 

.Stangraidh,  266 

.Swanibost,  265 

Slaga.harn,  139 

Staonag,  213 

.Swordale,  87,  268 

.Slaggan,  237 

.Stathanis,  269,  271 

.Syal,  9 

.Slattadale,   231 

Stavek,  xviii. 

.Sligo,  140 

.Steinish,  269 

.Tabac,  264 

.Slioch,  233 

Steollaidh,  45 

.Taboet,  265 

Sloggake,  22 

Stirk.hill,  229 

.Taclete,  269 

Sludach,  127 

Stirrup  Mark,  219 

.Tagan,  231,  Ivi. 

.Slugan  .Domhain,  136 

.Stittenham,  72 

Tain,  32 

.Slumbay,  194 

Stockford,  xx. 

.Talich,  42 

Smertae,  xii. 

Stoney.  blather,  46 

.Talla,  250 

.Smithstowu,  227 

.Stoneyfield,  70 

.Talladale,  231 

Smithycroft,  146 

.Stornoway,  272 

Tally.sow,  77 

.Smiuig,  272 

Stac   .Chaoruinn,   249 

.Tanera,  253,  2j'-- 

.Smiuthaig,  229 

Straith.fairne  22 

.Tannray,  259,  266 

.Smiorsair,  233 

.Strandavat,  272 

.Tao'udal,  195 

.Socach,   14,  78,  90 

Strath,   226 

.Tarbat,  45 

.Soray,  270 

—  a'   .Bhathaioh,  215 

—  Ness,,  45 

.Scmter  Head,  126 

.Strathan,  195 

Tarbh,  221 

.Sotiters,  126 

Stra  than.  more,  236 

.Tarlogie,  33 

South   .Erradale,  221 

Strath,  asgag,  189 

.Tarradalc,   103 

.Soval,  270 

Strath.  beg,  246 

.Tarravay,  272 

.Sovat,  270 

Strath.  bogie,  209 

.Tarrel,  47 

Sow  of  Athole,  83 

Strath  Bran,  165 

.Tarstavat,   272 

.Spardan   nan    Gobhar, 

—  Conon,  149 

.Tarvie,  162 


—  Cromble,  169 

Tea.blair,  137 

.Spean,  1. 

—  .miglo,  157 

Tea.chatt,  89 

Spey,  I. 

—  More,  251 

.Teallach,  243 

.Spidean  a'  Choire  Leith, 

—  na  Sealg,  243 

.Teampall  .Earach,  48 


Strath.  peffer,  98 

.Teamradal,  197 

.Spideau  a  Ghlais-tuill, 

Strath  of,  52 

Teana.callich,  154 


—  .Rannoch,  101 

Teana.criech,  110 

.Spittal,  144 

Strath.rory,  68,  84 

Teana.fruich,  106 

Spuic    .Nighean    .Thor- 

Strath.rusdale,  73,  84 

Teana.gaim,  117 

maid,  218 

—  .Terry,  162 

Teana.huig,  143 

Srath-.cuillionach,  11 

—  .vaich,  164 

Teana.lick,  111 

—  -.fhliuchaidh,  139 

.Strathy,  72,  187 

Tean.dallan,  92 

—  Maol-.Chaluim,  202 

Strcme,  194,  xix. 

Tean.dalloch,  107 

—  r.a  .Frangach,  72 

Strome.ferry,   188 

Tean.dore,  117,  137,  140 

—  na  Sealer,  243 

Strona.chro,  107 

.Teanga  .Fhiadhaich,  194 

—  .Phollaidh,  261 

Strone,  80,  163 

Tean.ord,  87 

—  .Fea^gaich,  16 

Strone.more,  50 

Tean.inich,  7$ 



Tea.wig,  137 
Tea.zet,  116 
Tempi  and,  135 
Tena.field,  111 
Thesklaris,  38 
Three  Kings,  54 
Tigh  a'  .Mholain,  178 

—  a'  Mhuilinn,  136 

—  an  t-Sluic,  139 
.Tighearna,  271 
Tighernach,  85 
Tigh.mhadaidh,  4 
Tighna-filine,  236 
Tigh  na  h-.Irich,  140 
Tighn.innich,  122 
Ti^h  na  h-Innse,  119 

—  na  .Plucaird,  235 
.Tobar  a'  Bhaile  Dhuibh, 


—  a'  Bhaistidh,  55 

a'  .Chlaidheimh,  56 

—  a'  Choirneil,  55 

.Alaidh  .Bhodhsa,  55 

—  an  Tuirc,  176 

—  Cadh'  an  Ruigh,  56 

—  .Chragag,  133 
_  .Cormaig.  54 

Cnoc  .Coinnich,  54 

—  .Dringaig,  228 

—  Dun  Sgath,  56 

—  .Eathain  Bhaist,  55 
Mo-.Chalmaig,   46 

—  Mhoire,  79 

—  na  .Baintighearna,  44 

—  na  Coille,  51,  55 

—  na  h-eiteachan,  56 

-  na  h-Iu,  54 

—  nan  Geala  mora,  55 

—  nan  .Gobhar,  42 
Tobarnayn.gor,  42 
.Tobar  na'  Muc,  56 

—  nam  Puill  Lin,  55 

-  na  Slainte,  50,  56 

—  Sein  .Sotharlain,  55 

—  .Suardalain,  40 
Tober.churn,  123 
Toberinteir,  74 

Tokach,  22 

Toll,  268 

.Tollaidh,  73,  105,  180, 

.Tollar,  268 
.Tollie,  73, 105, 180,  231 
Toll  Ligh,  168 
Toll  Muic,  165 
Toll  nam  Blast,  218 
Toll  .Raoiridh,  49 
Tollie  Mylne,  73 
Tolly,  73, 105, 180,  231 
.Tolsta,  271 
Tom.ban,  165 
Tom   .Phutharol,   265 
.Tomich,  70 
.Torastaigh,  271 
Tore,  118,  143 
Tore.lean,  60 
Tor.muick,  111 
Torna. brock,  65 
Torna.preas,  192 
Torr  a'  Bhil,  27 

—  a'  Bhiod,  230 

—  na  h-.Iolaire,  198 

-  nan  Clar,  194 
Torra  Cadaidh,  244 
.Torran,  ob 
Torran  .Cuilinn,  197 

-  na  016,  230 

—  Shios,  51 

—  Shuas,  51 
Torray,  264 
.Torridon,  210 
Torr.luinnsich,  171 
Torr.micliaell,  21 
Torr  na  .Cathrach,  247 
-  .Fhionnlaidh,   216 
Torr  .Oigean,  8 
Torris  .Trean,  109 
.Toscaig,  203 
.Totaig,  173 
Toul.vaddie,  47 
.Tourie.lum,  135 
Traigh  .Chumil,  269 
.Triubhais,  77 
.Tromie,  128 

Tulach  .Ard,  178 
.Tulchainn,  198 
.Tullich,  41,  66, 141, 198 
.Tulloch,  94 
.Txmna  Bheag,  218 
.Tungavat,  272 
.Turnaig,  235 
.Tympane  Myln,  99 

[   .Uags,  203 

Uaimh  .Shianta,  206 

Uaimn  .Ulabha,  187 

Uamh  .Fhreacadain,  222 

Uchdan,  80 

Uchdant-.Sab-ail,  171 

.Udale,  125 

.Udrigle,  238 

Uidh,  223 

Uidh  .Phlubach,  225 

Uig,  78 

Uisge  Dubh,  24 

.Ulladale,  61,  67, 100,  266 

.Ullapool,  254 

.Ullava,  187 

.Ullavat,  272 

.Ungashader,  270 

.TJrard,  212 

.Urquhart,  113 

.Urranan,  271 
i   .Urray,  104 
i  .Ussie,  105 

.Valasay,  266 
Varar,  xii. 
.Vatersay,  266 
.Vatisker,  271 
Vernemetis,  lx:i. 
.Vuya,  266 

Walter's  Seat,  50 
Wardlaw,  xix. 
.Wellhouse,  145 
Wester  Ballano,  123 
Wester  Fearn,  30 
\Vester  Ross,  x.i. 
.Weston,  131 
Westray,  23 
White. bog,  126 
Whitegate,  137 
Whiteness,  36 
White.wells,  144 
Wilk.haven,  45 
Williamstown,   125 
\vood.head,  122 
.Woodlands,  279 
Wood.side,  131 

Yair.head,  139 


DA  Watson,  William  John 

880  Place  names  of  Ross 

R7W34        and  Cromarty